Indirect calorimetry is a noninvasive, reliable, and valuable tool in assessing energy expenditure, evaluating fuel utilization by the body. It has been used extensively for both scientific investigation and medical evaluation and care. Scientists from various fields have used it effectively to measure energy expenditure, establish nutrient requirements, measure physical fitness, and evaluate macronutrient utilization during exercise and rest. Clinicians have used indirect calorimetry to optimize the nutritional support in metabolic disorders as in parenterally fed patients and to quantify the energy expenditure in mechanically ventilated patients. Indirect calorime-try is a reliable, convenient, and accurate diagnostic and prognostic tool in experimental and clinical settings. Indirect calorimetry has such universal appeal because animals and humans derive their energy for sustenance by transforming the chemical energy from the nutrients they consume to heat through respiration, and their existence depends on their ability to balance energy intake and expenditure.

See also: Energy: Metabolism; Balance; Requirements. Further Reading

Elia M, Fuller NJ, and Murgatroyd PR (1992) Measurement of bicarbonate turnover in humans: Applicability to estimation of energy expenditure. American Journal of Physiology 263: E676-E687.

Headley JM (2003) Indirect calorimetry. AACN Clinical Issues 14(2): 155-167.

Jequier E, Acheson K, and Schutz Y (1987) Assessment of energy expenditure and fuel utilization in man. Annual Review of Nutrition 7: 187-208. Macfarlane DJ (2001) Automated metabolic gas analysis systems.

Sports Medicine 31(12): 841-861. Molnar JA, Cunnigham JJ, Miyatani S et al. (1986) Closed-circuit metabolic system with multiple applications. Journal of Applied Physiology 61(4): 1582-1585. Murgatroyd PR, Shetty PS, and Prentice AM (1993) Techniques for the measurement of human energy expenditure: A practical guide. International Journal of Obesity 17: 549-568. Peel C and Utsey C (1993) Oxygen consumption using the K2 telemetry system and a metabolic cart. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 25(3): 296-400. Schoeller DA and Webb P (1984) Five-day comparison of the doubly labeled water method with respiratory gas exchange. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 40(1): 153-158. Simonson DC and DeFronzo RA (1990) Indirect calorimetry: Methodological and interpretive problems. American Journal of Physiology 258: E399-E412.

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