1. Measurements have been made of mixed venous Pco2 (PV̄co2) by two methods during exercise at 50 and 100 W in five adult male subjects.
2. The equilibration (plateau) method and the extrapolation (Defares) method were performed alternately, five times each, during the steady-state exercise.
3. The coefficient of variation of PV̄,co2 by the extrapolation method was much higher than that of the plateau method. The PV̄,co2 can be estimated to within ± 1 mmHg by the plateau method, and the derived cardiac output to within ± 0·5 1/min in most cases. The cardiac output calculated by this method agrees closely with that found by direct methods in other studies, whereas the extrapolation method usually overestimates the cardiac output in adults.
4. It is suggested that the degree of variation in the extrapolation method is due to technical factors in construction of the line and to the difficulty of deciding what constitutes the end-tidal Pco2.