Document Detail

Hypoxemia in healthy subjects at moderate altitude.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23304995     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
BACKGROUND: Healthy individuals are known to have significantly reduced oxygen saturations at rest when acutely exposed to moderate altitudes, such as during commercial flight. There is a paucity of data on the response of healthy individuals to exercise at these altitudes. The aim of this study was to establish the normal response to exercise during acute, moderate altitude exposure with regard to oxygen saturations. Secondary aims were to establish if this response can be predicted from pulmonary function measurements at sea level.
METHODS: At sea level, 20 subjects performed pulmonary function tests, including submaximal steady state exercise, followed by replication of submaximal steady state exercise during acute altitude exposure at 6844 ft (2086 m).
RESULTS: Mean resting oxygen saturation at 6844 ft (2086 m) was 96%, a significant reduction from the sea level value of 99%. Mean nadir oxygen saturation during steady state exercise at moderate altitude was 89%. There was a weak negative correlation between aerobic capacity and end exercise oxygen saturation at altitude. Modified BORG dyspnea scores were unchanged at rest at 6844 ft (2086 m) and higher post-exercise at 6844 ft (2086 m) when compared to sea level, although absolute values were low.
DISCUSSION: Healthy individuals desaturate at rest and upon exercise during acute altitude exposure at 6844 ft (2086 m). A quarter of participants experienced SpO2 < or = 85% upon exercise at altitude, although this had no correlation with dyspnea scores or baseline pulmonary function measurements. The weak negative correlation between aerobic capacity and end exercise oxygen saturation is unexplained and merits further research.
Rachel L Wiseman; Paul T Kelly; Maureen P Swanney; Kevin P McNamara; Lutz Beckert
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Aviation, space, and environmental medicine     Volume:  84     ISSN:  0095-6562     ISO Abbreviation:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-11     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7501714     Medline TA:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  22-6     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Department of Respiratory Medicine, Respiratory Physiology Laboratory, Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand.
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