Assessing Validity and Reliability of Resting Metabolic Rate in Six Gas Analysis Systems

Jamie A. Cooper, Abigail C. Watras, Matthew J. O'Brien, Amy Luke, Jennifer R. Dobratz, Carrie P. Earthman, Dale A. Schoeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Scopus citations


The Deltatrac Metabolic Monitor (DTC) (VIASYS Healthcare Inc, SensorMedics, Yorba Linda, CA), one of the most popular indirect calorimetry systems for measuring resting metabolic rate (RMR) in human subjects, is no longer being manufactured. This study compared five different gas analysis systems to the DTC. RMR was measured by the DTC and at least one other instrument at three study sites for a total of 38 participants. The five indirect calorimetry systems included the MedGraphics CPX Ultima (Medical Graphics Corp, St Paul, MN), the MedGem (Microlife USA, Golden, CO), Vmax Encore 29 System (VIASYS Healthcare Inc, Yorba Linda, CA), the TrueOne 2400 (Parvo Medics, Sandy, UT), and the Korr ReeVue (Korr Medical Technologies, Salt Lake City, UT). Validity was assessed using paired t tests to compare means; reliability was assessed by using both paired t tests and root mean square calculations with F tests for significance. Within-subject comparisons for validity of RMR revealed a significant difference between the DTC and the Ultima system. Bland-Altman plot analysis showed significant bias with increasing RMR values for the Korr and MedGem systems. Respiratory exchange ratio (RER) analysis showed a significant difference between the DTC and the Ultima system and a trend for a difference with the Vmax system (P=0.09). Reliability assessment for RMR revealed that all instruments had a significantly larger coefficient of variation (CV) (ranging from 4.8% to 10.9%) for RMR compared to the 3.0% CV for the DTC. Reliability assessment for RER data showed none of the instrument CVs was significantly larger than the DTC CV. The results were quite disappointing because none of the instruments equaled the within-person reliability of the DTC. The TrueOne and Vmax systems were the most valid instruments in comparison with the DTC for both RMR and RER assessment. Further testing is needed to identify an instrument with the reliability and validity of the DTC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-132
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by National Institutes of Health grant no. DK30031.


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