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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Aug;114(8):1555-62. doi: 10.1007/s00421-014-2882-1. Epub 2014 Apr 23.

Effect of acute normobaric hypoxia on the ventilatory threshold.

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Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Chichester, College Lane, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6PE, UK.



This study investigated the response of the ventilatory threshold (VT) to acute normobaric hypoxia and compared the agreement between software-based algorithms which use automatic detection to identify the VT. Results were used to examine whether the VT can be used as a physiological parameter to prescribe and monitor exercise intensity in hypoxic exercise training programs.


Fourteen untrained individuals (7 women, 7 men; age 22 ± 2 years, [Formula: see text]O2peak 46 ± 7 mL kg(-1) min(-1)) completed five identical graded exercise tests (randomized order) on a cycle ergometer to measure VT at sea-level (SL) and in response to four normobaric hypoxic conditions (FIO2: 0.185, 0.165, 0.142, 0.125) equivalent to 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 and 4,000 m. Data were analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures.


The VT was similar across all conditions (SL = 1.98 ± 0.46, 1,000 m = 2.03 ± 0.61, 2,000 m = 2.27 ± 0.62, 3,000 m = 1.84 ± 0.50, 4,000 m = 2.29 ± 0.58 L min(-1)) for all algorithms used despite a reduction in arterial oxygen saturation at 3,000 (P ≤ 0.01) and 4,000 m (P ≤ 0.01) compared with SL values.


The VT appears to be a suitable physiological parameter for exercise prescription in normobaric hypoxia up to an altitude of 4,000 m.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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