Comparison of the automatised and the optimised carbon monoxide rebreathing methods.

Kellenberger, Katja; Steiner, Thomas; Wehrlin, Jon (2022). Comparison of the automatised and the optimised carbon monoxide rebreathing methods. Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation, 82(6), pp. 474-480. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/00365513.2022.2122078

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Recently, a new automated carbon monoxide (CO) rebreathing method (aCO) to estimate haemoglobin mass (Hbmass) was introduced. The aCO method uses the same CO dilution principle as the widely used optimised CO rebreathing method (oCO). The two methods differ in terms of CO administration, body position, and rebreathing time. Whereas with aCO, CO is administered automatically by the system in a supine position of the subject, with oCO, CO is administered manually by an experienced operator with the subject sitting. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify possible differences in Hbmass estimated with the two methods. Hbmass was estimated in 18 subjects (9 females, 9 males) with oCO using capillary blood samples (oCOc) and aCO taking simultaneously venous blood samples (aCOv) and capillary blood samples (aCOc). Overall, Hbmass was different between the three measurement procedures (F = 57.55, p < .001). Hbmass was lower (p < .001) for oCOc (737 g ± 179 g) than for both aCOv (825 g ± 189 g, −9.3%) and aCOc (835 g ± 189 g, −10.6%). There was no difference in Hbmass estimated with aCOv and aCOc procedures (p = .12). Three factors can likely explain the 10% difference in Hbmass: differences in calculations (including a factor for myoglobin flux), body position (distribution of CO in blood circulation) during rebreathing, and time of blood sampling. Moreover, the determination of Hbmass with aCO is possible with capillary blood sampling instead of venous blood sampling.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


Swiss Federal Institute of Sports Magglingen SFISM > EHSM - Leistungssport > Sportphysiologie Ausdauer


Kellenberger, Katja;
Steiner, Thomas and
Wehrlin, Jon




Taylor & Francis




Sabina Wolfensberger

Date Deposited:

11 Jul 2023 10:50

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2023 10:50

Publisher DOI:


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Uncontrolled Keywords:

Kinetics Carboxyhaemoglobin CO Rebreathing methods Erythrocytes Haemoglobin mass Sportphysiologie Ausdauer


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