Measurement of Cardiac Output by CO2 Rebreathing in Unsteady State Exercise
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The ability to determine cardiac output (Q) noninvasively during a nonsteady state (NSS) incremental exercise test was assessed. Seven healthy subjects performed two maximal incremental cycle ergometer exercise tests (100 kpm/min increments every minute), and also steady state exercise (SS) at 25, 50, and 75 percent of their maximum power output. The Q was determined by the indirect CO2 Fick method; mixed venous PCO2 was calculated using the exponential CO2 rebreathing method. No significant differences were observed for the cardiac output/oxygen uptake relationship (Q/VO2) obtained between the two incremental exercise tests. During NSS, the Q/VO2 was linear (r = .89; intercept = 5.69 L/min; slope = 5.39). During the SS, Q/VO2 was linear (r = .90; intercept = 5.47 L/min; slope = 4.87). No significant difference was observed between the SS and NSS Q/VO2 relationships (p greater than 0.05), and the NSS relationship was similar to Q/VO2 values previously reported in the literature. Accurate and reproducible measurements of Q can be obtained noninvasively in healthy subjects using the exponential CO2 rebreathing method during incremental progressive exercise tests, with similar values at comparable VO2 to those obtained in the steady state.
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