Pulmonary gas exchange during exercise in athletes I. Ventilation- perfusion mismatch and diffusion limitation

S. R. Hopkins, D. C. McKenzie, Robert Blair Schoene, R. W. Glenny, H. T. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

104 Scopus citations

Abstract

To investigate pulmonary gas exchange during exercise in athletes, 10 high aerobic capacity athletes (maximal aerobic capacity = 5.15 ± 0.52 l/min) underwent testing on a cycle ergometer at rest, 150 W, 300 W, and maximal exercise (372 ± 22 W) while trace amounts of six inert gases were infused intravenously. Arterial blood samples, mixed expired gas samples, and metabolic data were obtained. Indexes of ventilation-perfusion (V̇A/Q̇) mismatch were calculated by the multiple inert gas elimination technique. The alveolar-arterial difference for O2 (AaDO2) was predicted from the inert gas model on the basis of the calculated V̇A/Q̇ mismatch V̇A/Q̇ heterogeneity increased significantly with exercise and was predicted to increase the AaDO2 by > 17 Torr during heavy and maximal exercise. The observed AaDO2 increased significantly more than that predicted by the inert gas technique during maximal exercise (10 ± 10 Torr). These data suggest that this population develops diffusion limitation during maximal exercise, but V̇A/Q̇ mismatch is the most important contributor (>60%) to the wide AaDO2 observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)912-917
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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