Clamping end-tidal carbon dioxide during graded exercise with control of inspired oxygen
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Exercise- and hypoxia-induced hyperventilation decreases the partial pressure of end-tidal carbon dioxide (PETCO2), which in turn exerts many physiological effects. Several breathing circuits that control PETCO2 have been previously described, but their designs are not satisfactory for exercise studies where changes in inspired oxygen (FIO2) may be desired. This study is the first report of a breathing system that can maintain PETCO2 constant within a single session of graded submaximal exercise and graded hypoxia. Thirteen fit and healthy subjects completed two bouts of exercise consisting of three 3min stages on a cycle ergometer with increasing exercise intensity in normoxia (Part A; 142±14, 167±14, 192±14W) or with decreasing FIO2 at a constant exercise intensity (Part B; 21, 18, and 14%). One bout was a control (CON) where PETCO2 was not manipulated, while during the other bout the investigator clamped PETCO2 within 2mmHg (CO2Clamp) using sequential gas delivery (SGD). During the final 30s of each exercise stage during CO2Clamp, PETCO2 was successfully maintained in Part A (43±4, 44±4, 44±3mmHg; P=0.44) and Part B (45±3, 46±3, 45±3mmHg; P=0.68) despite the increases in ventilation due to exercise. These findings demonstrate that this SGD circuit can be used to maintain isocapania in exercising humans during progressively increasing exercise intensities and changing FIO2.
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