To examine the interactive reactions of heart,
lung, vasular and metabolic system

Ergospirometry involves the parallel examination of reactions of a person’s heart, lung, vascular and metabolic system while under physical stress.  

Using a face mask or mouth piece, the respiratory gas is guided through a volume sensor that registers all physical features of a person’s breathing. Via a suction system connected to it, gas samples can be regularly taken from the person’s respiratory flow. They are analysed in the system to determine the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. Basic measurements entered during ergospirometry are: respiratory volume and frequency, oxygen intake, carbon-dioxide output and heart rate. Having these, other parameters can be determined such as minute volume, gas exchange rate and breath equivalents for oxygen and carbon dioxide. Based on this, sophisticated statements can be made as to the performance of different organs.
Synonyms for ergospirometry are spiroergometry, cardiopulmonary exercise testing and metabolic performance testing.

Spiroergomtry infografik

The History of Ergospirometry

What happens, when physical stress of your body grows? Already in 1789 Marie and Antoine Laurent de Lavosier as well as Armand-Jean-Francois Seguin had examined the human gas metabolism under physical stress. Then, around 25 years later, the french physicist Gustav-Adolf Hirn analyzed by means of air-tight enclosed chambers the content of exhalation air mearsuring the share of carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen. In the year of 1924 Archibald Vivian Hill formulated one of the most important characteristic numbers of ergospirometry, the maximum uptake of oxygen.

Where is Ergospiometry used?

Ergospirometry in Medicine

Medical In medicine, limitations of the cardiopul- monary overall system are precisely analysed by using Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing systems based on differential diagnosis. The respiratory gas analysis is often combined with ECG monitoring. The main advantage of Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing compared to examina- tions when at rest: Certain symptoms of diseases, as e.g. dyspnoea or a sudden drop in performance, only occur when under physical stress and can thus be diagnosed much easier and at an earlier stage.

Ergospirometry in Sports

Sports In high-performance sport, an athlete’s perfor- mance is precisely measured using parameters such as the maximum oxygen intake at a maximum heart rate and respiratory thresholds which precisely show an athlete’s performance. The measurements allow developing opti- mal training plans and methods and in particular the plan- ning and monitoring of enhanced performance.

Ergospirometry for health and fitness

A third application is health and fitness. By means of ergospirometry the individual energy consumption of a human being can be determined precisely. For instance you can analyze how many calories your body consumes under rest or under your specific training condtions.  Additionally, you can find out how much carbohydrates, fat and proteins the body consumes. With this knowledge it is possbile to determine the exact point where fat burning is at maximum level. In contrast to all other existing mearuing methods, ergospirometry is the most exact practice. 

What a breath reveals.

Ergospirometry explained in a short film.


In this film a typical test is shown. Often the breath analysis is combined with a ecg-device. The user controls the test procedure by the integrated software. When the test is finished the results can be analyzed easily. All results are presented in a test report and can be compared with former indications. 

Find more videos here >>


In our Media Library you will find a collection of films and videos about our ergospirometry products in use. In the menu 
Publications an overview about national and international publications is shown in which CORTEX systems are mentioned and applied.
 Last but not least, Interesting Links guide you to relevant journals and organisations where you can get even more information about ergospirometry (Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing). 

In case of further questions and of course also suggestions, we and our team will be pleased to be at your disposal! 

Follow us on:
© CORTEX Biophysik GmbH Walter-Köhn-Str. 2d 04356 Leipzig/Germany Tel: +49 341 - 487 49-0