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Breathing He-O2 increases ventilation but does not decrease the work of breathing during exercise



Breathing He-O2 increases ventilation but does not decrease the work of breathing during exercise



American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 163(5): 1128-1134



We previously observed an increase in minute ventilation (V E) with resistive unloading (He-O2 breathing) in healthy elderly subjects with normal pulmonary function. To investigate the effects of resistive unloading in elderly subjects with mild chronic airflow limitation (FEV(1)/FVC: 61 +/- 4%), we studied 10 elderly men and women 70 +/- 3 yr of age. These subjects performed graded cycle ergometry to exhaustion, once breathing room air and once breathing a He-O2 gas mixture (79% He, 21% O2). V E, pulmonary mechanics, and PET(CO2) were measured during each 1-min increment in work rate. Data were analyzed by paired t test at rest, at ventilatory threshold (VTh), and during maximal exercise. V E was significantly (p < 0.05) increased at VTh (3.4 +/- 4.0 L/min or 12 +/- 15% increase) and maximal exercise (15.2 +/- 9.7 L/min or 22 +/- 13% increase) while breathing He-O2. Concomitant to the increase in V E, PET(CO2) was decreased at all levels (p < 0.01), whereas total work of breathing against the lung was not different. We concluded that V E is increased during He-O2 breathing because of resistive unloading of the airways and the maintenance of the relationship between the work of breathing and exercise work rate.

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Accession: 010257599

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 11316648

DOI: 10.1164/ajrccm.163.5.9908025


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