Nonlinear increases in diffusing capacity during exercise by seated and supine subjects.
To study the effects of exercise on pulmonary diffusing capacity, we measured the lungs' diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) during exhalation from 30 to 45% exhaled vital capacity in eight healthy subjects at rest and during exercise while both sitting and supine. We found that DLCO at these lung volumes in resting subjects was 26.3 +/- 3.2% (mean +/- SE) higher in the supine than in the sitting position (P less than 0.001). We also found that, in both positions, DLCO at these lung volumes increased significantly (P less than 0.001) with increasing exercise and approached similar values at maximal exercise. The pattern of increase in DLCO with an increase in oxygen consumption in both positions was curvilinear in that the rate of increase in DLCO during mild exercise was greater than the rate of increase in DLCO during heavy exercise (P = 0.02). Furthermore, in the supine position during exercise, it appeared that DLCO reached a physiological maximum.
Stokes, DL; MacIntyre, NR; Nadel, JA
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