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J Physiol. 1994 Oct 15;480 ( Pt 2):355-9.

Dynamic asymmetries of cardiac output transients in response to muscular exercise in man.

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Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Faculty of Health and Sports Sciences, Osaka University, Japan.


1. We determined the kinetics of cardiac output (Q) with respect to oxygen uptake (VO2) at the on- and off-transients of constant-load exercise. Six subjects performed constant-load exercise which consisted of 5 min rest, 5 min one-legged pedalling at 50 W and a 5 min recovery period. 2. The transient responses were characterized by first-order kinetics. There was no significant difference between the time constants for VO2 (tau VO2) at the on- (33.9 +/- 3.5 s, mean +/- S.E.M.) and off-transient (37.2 +/- 2.9 s). The time constant for Q (tau Q, 29.4 +/- 3.2 s) was consistently shorter than tau VO2 at the on-transient. However, tau Q was appreciably longer at the off-transient (44.3 +/- 3.6 s) than the on-transient. 3. The results support the contention that the time constant for the on-transient of Q is appreciably faster than that for VO2 and hence there seems little justification for the notion that the time constants for the kinetics of VO2 are determined by the limitations of blood flow in the transient. The asymmetry of Q kinetics, with the off-transient tau Q being appreciably slower than the on-transient tau Q, serves to maintain a sufficiently high oxygen flow to the muscle during recovery from exercise at a time when the muscle oxygen uptake remains high.

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