Prediction of VO2 max from leg muscle (plus bone) volume gave the same order of accuracy. However, it was shown that the VO2 max of the injured leg could be predicted with an accuracy of +/- 5%, if the observed VO2 max data of the uninjured leg and two legs were combined and utilized in the following formula: VO2 max (injured leg) = (A X 2) – VO2 max (uninjured leg), where A is the mean one-leg VO2 max predicted from the two-leg VO2 max observed. It was concluded that wherever possible the one-leg and two-leg VO2 max of patients undergoing rehabilitation therapy should be measured directly. If the patient is unable to pedal the bicycle ergometer with his injured leg alone then the VO2 max of this limb may be predicted from leg volume measurements or from the observed uninjured and two-leg VO2 max with an accuracy of approximately 8%.
Anthony J Sargeant carried out this research in 1975 at the Joint Services Medical Rehabilitation Unit at Chessington in Surrey. It was aimed at quantifying the aerobic function of the young men undergoing residential rehabilitation following leg fracture. Given the difficulty in some patients of making direct maximal measurements this study sought to look at the reliability of predictions of maximum function based on submaximal measurements (this study formed part of the PhD research of Tony Sargeant who was solely responsible for the collection, analysis of the data, and drafting of the paper for publication).
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 1975 Aug;56(8):340-5