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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1991 Mar;70(3):1129-36.

Oxygen transport during steady-state submaximal exercise in chronic hypoxia.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Pulmonary Research Laboratory, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80262.

Abstract

Arterial O2 delivery during short-term submaximal exercise falls on arrival at high altitude but thereafter remains constant. As arterial O2 content increases with acclimatization, blood flow falls. We evaluated several factors that could influence O2 delivery during more prolonged submaximal exercise after acclimatization at 4,300 m. Seven men (23 +/- 2 yr) performed 45 min of steady-state submaximal exercise at sea level (barometric pressure 751 Torr), on acute ascent to 4,300 m (barometric pressure 463 Torr), and after 21 days of residence at altitude. The O2 uptake (VO2) was constant during exercise, 51 +/- 1% of maximal VO2 at sea level, and 65 +/- 2% VO2 at 4,300 m. After acclimatization, exercise cardiac output decreased 25 +/- 3% compared with arrival and leg blood flow decreased 18 +/- 3% (P less than 0.05), with no change in the percentage of cardiac output to the leg. Hemoglobin concentration and arterial O2 saturation increased, but total body and leg O2 delivery remained unchanged. After acclimatization, a reduction in plasma volume was offset by an increase in erythrocyte volume, and total blood volume did not change. Mean systemic arterial pressure, systemic vascular resistance, and leg vascular resistance were all greater after acclimatization (P less than 0.05). Mean plasma norepinephrine levels also increased during exercise in a parallel fashion with increased vascular resistance. Thus we conclude that both total body and leg O2 delivery decrease after arrival at 4,300 m and remain unchanged with acclimatization as a result of a parallel fall in both cardiac output and leg blood flow and an increase in arterial O2 content.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

PMID:
2032978
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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