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Breathing patterns during slow and fast ramp exercise in man

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 January 2001

Barry W. Scheuermann
Affiliation:
School of Kinesiology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 3K7
John M. Kowalchuk
Affiliation:
Department of Physiology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 3K7
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Abstract

Breathing frequency (fb), tidal volume (VT), and respiratory timing during slow (SR, 8 W min-1) and fast (FR, 65 W min-1) ramp exercise to exhaustion on a cycle ergometer was examined in seven healthy male subjects. Expiratory ventilation (VE), pulmonary gas exchange (VO2 and VCO2) and end-tidal gas tensions (PET,O2 and PET,CO2) were determined using breath-by-breath techniques. Arterialized venous blood was sampled from a dorsal hand vein at 2 min intervals during SR and 30 s intervals during FR and analysed for arterial plasma PCO2 (Pa,CO2). PET,CO2 increased with increasing work rates (WRs) below the ventilatory threshold (VT); at WRs >= 90 % VO2,max, PET,CO2 was reduced (P < 0Σ05) below 0 W values in SR but not in FR. fb and VT were similar for SR and FR at all submaximal WRs, resulting in a similar VE. At exhaustion VE was similar but fb was higher (P < 0Σ05) and VT was lower (P < 0Σ05) in SR ( fb, 51 ± 10 breaths min-1; VT, 2590 ± 590 ml) than in FR ( fb, 42 ± 8 breaths min-1; VT, 3050 ± 470 ml). The time of expiration (TE) decreased with increasing WR, but there was no difference between SR and FR. The time of inspiration (TI) decreased at exercise intensities >= VT; at exhaustion, TI was shorter (P < 0Σ05) during SR (0Σ512 ± 0Σ097 s) than during FR (0Σ753 ± 0Σ100 s). The TI to total breath duration (TI/TTot) and the inspiratory flow (VT/TI) were similar during SR and FR at all submaximal exercise intensities; at VO2,max, TI/TTot was lower (P < 0Σ05) and VT/TI was higher (P < 0Σ05) during SR (TI/TTot, 0Σ473 ± 0Σ030; VT/TI, 5Σ092 ± 0Σ377 l s-1) than during FR (TI/TTot, 0Σ567 ± 0Σ050; VT/TI, 4Σ117 ± 0Σ635 l s-1). These results suggest that during progressive exercise, breathing pattern and respiratory timing may be determined, at least at submaximal work rates, independently of alveolar and arterial PCO2.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Physiological Society 1999

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