Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Appl Physiol (1985). 1989 Sep;67(3):1119-24.

Hypoxic ventilatory response and arterial desaturation during heavy work.

Author information

Department of Sports Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Arterial desaturation in athletes during intense exercise has been reported by several authors, yet the etiology of this phenomenon remains obscure. Inadequate pulmonary ventilation, due to a blunted respiratory drive, has been implicated as a factor. To investigate the relationship between the ventilatory response to hypoxia, exercise ventilation, and arterial desaturation, 12 healthy male subjects [age, 23.8 +/- 3.6 yr; height, 181.6 +/- 5.6 cm; weight, 73.7 +/- 6.2 kg; and maximal O2 uptake (VO2max), 63.0 +/- 2.2 min-1] performed a 5-min treadmill test at 100% of VO2max, during which arterial blood samples and ventilatory data were collected every 15 s. Alveolar PO2 (PAO2) was determined using the ideal gas equation. On a separate occasion the ventilatory response to isocapnic hypoxia was measured. Arterial PO2 decreased by an average of 29 Torr during the test, associated with arterial desaturation [arterial O2 saturation (SaO2) 92.0%]. PAO2 was maintained; however, alveolar-arterial gas pressure difference increased progressively to greater than 40 Torr. Minimal hypocapnia was observed, despite marked metabolic acidosis. There was no significant correlation observed between hypoxic drives and ventilation-to-O2 uptake ratio or SaO2 (r = 0.1 and 0.06, respectively, P = NS). These data support the conclusions that hypoxic drives are not related to maximal exercise ventilation or to the development of arterial desaturation during maximal exercise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center