Document Detail

Ventilatory capacities at sea level and high altitude.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9184735     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Because air is less dense at high altitude (HA), airway resistance is reduced and maximum inspiratory and expiratory flows are greater than at sea level (SL). Despite the reduction in airway resistance, ventilatory muscle endurance may be decreased by hypobaric hypoxia and, thus, may be a factor in limiting exercise at HA. To explore the effects of HA on ventilatory capacities and their relation to ventilatory demands of exercise, we measured 15-s maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV), 15-min maximum sustainable ventilation (MSV), and maximum airway pressures (Plmax and PEmax) in 18 healthy young men at SL and HA (Pikes Peak, 4300 m, or hypobaric chamber, PB approximately 460 mmHg). In eight of these subjects ventilatory capacities were compared with exercise ventilations. We also measured the effects of 36% O2 on the MSV in 12 of the subjects exposed to simulated altitude. Similar results were obtained at either simulated or actual HA. We found that MVV increased (p < 0.001) by 20% and the MSV (p < 0.001) by 15% at HA. Administration of 36% O2 at HA increased MSV further by 5% with no effect on MVV. No effect of HA on maximum inspiratory and expiratory pressures was found. We confirmed previous findings of modest increases in forced 1-s expired volume (FEV1) and slight decreases in forced vital capacity (FVC) at HA. At both SL and HA, the MSV exceeded the ventilatory demands of submaximal cycle exercise that could be sustained for about 30 min. During progressive cycle exercise to exhaustion, however, peak VE was not different from MVV, either at SL or HA. We conclude that the small, but significant, increase in MSV with 36% O2 administration at HA suggests that hypoxia decreases ventilatory endurance for flow loads as determined by the MSV. Thus, the possibility that ventilatory limits have a role in cessation of exercise at high altitude cannot be ruled out.
V A Forte; D E Leith; S R Muza; C S Fulco; A Cymerman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Aviation, space, and environmental medicine     Volume:  68     ISSN:  0095-6562     ISO Abbreviation:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Publication Date:  1997 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-07-24     Completed Date:  1997-07-24     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7501714     Medline TA:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  488-93     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Altitude Physiology and Medicine Division, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Airway Resistance / physiology
Anoxia / etiology,  physiopathology*,  therapy
Body Height
Body Weight
Exercise Test
Forced Expiratory Volume*
Maximal Voluntary Ventilation*
Oxygen Inhalation Therapy
Physical Endurance / physiology
Respiratory Muscles / physiology
Vital Capacity*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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