[Ventilatory response to maximal exercise in healthy children]

Rev Mal Respir. 2003 Dec;20(6 Pt 1):904-11.
[Article in French]


Introduction: The evaluation of the ventilatory response of children during exercise is essential to determine its role in impaired exercise tolerance. The aim of this review is to describe the variables and the values of maximal ventilatory parameters observed in healthy children in the published literature.

State of art: The maximal ventilation (VEmax) and the tidal volume (VTmax) increase in a linear fashion with age and plateau in boys at 15 years, and in girls at 13 years. The main variables for the parameters connected to volume--VEmax and VTmax--are anthropometric characteristics, in particular, the lean body mass. Most studies show a value of 30 ml.kg(-1) for a VTmax on the total body mass in pre-puberty and a slight increase thereafter. The ventilatory reserves and the VTmax on vital capacity increase with age until respective values of 30% and 50% are reached at 17 years. The maximal parameters connected to time are independent of anthropometric characteristics. The TI/TTOT ratio (inspiratory time to total time of the respiratory cycle) is stable with a value of 0.5. The maximal respiratory frequency decreases slightly with age without differences between the genders.

Perspectives and conclusion: Only studies of larger numbers of children, proposing relationships derived from allometric equations, will be able to provide real reference values.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Ventilation / physiology*
  • Reference Values