European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 103, Issue 6, pp 727–732

End-tidal pressure of CO2 and exercise performance in healthy subjects

Authors

    • Centro Cardiologico Monzino, IRCCS, Istituto di CardiologiaUniversità degli Studi di Milano
  • Damiano Magrì
    • Centro Cardiologico Monzino, IRCCS, Istituto di CardiologiaUniversità degli Studi di Milano
    • Dipartimento di Scienza Cardiovascolari, Respiratorie e MorfologicheUniversità La Sapienza
  • Emanuele Previtali
    • Istituto di Medicina Interna IIUniversità degli Studi di Milano
  • Stefania Farina
    • Centro Cardiologico Monzino, IRCCS, Istituto di CardiologiaUniversità degli Studi di Milano
  • Anna Torri
    • Istituto di Medicina Interna IIUniversità degli Studi di Milano
  • Marco Matturri
    • Centro Cardiologico Monzino, IRCCS, Istituto di CardiologiaUniversità degli Studi di Milano
  • Piergiuseppe Agostoni
    • Centro Cardiologico Monzino, IRCCS, Istituto di CardiologiaUniversità degli Studi di Milano
    • Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Department of MedicineUniversity of Washington
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00421-008-0773-z

Cite this article as:
Bussotti, M., Magrì, D., Previtali, E. et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2008) 103: 727. doi:10.1007/s00421-008-0773-z

Abstract

High arterial CO2 pressure (PaCO2) measured in athletes during exercise suggests inadequate hyperventilation. End-tidal CO2 pressure (PETCO2) is used to estimate PaCO2. However, PETCO2 also depends on exercise intensity (CO2 production, \( \dot V{\text{CO}}_2 \)) and ventilation efficiency (being PETCO2 function of respiratory rate). We evaluated PETCO2 as a marker, which combines efficiency of ventilation and performance. A total of 45 well-trained volunteers underwent cardiopulmonary tests and were grouped according to PETCO2 at respiratory compensation (RC): Group 1 (PETCO2 35.1–41.5 mmHg), Group 2 (41.6–45.7) and Group 3 (45.8–62.6). At anaerobic threshold, RC and peak exercise, ventilation (\( \dot V{\text{E}} \)) was similar, but in Group 3, a greater tidal volume (Vt) and lower respiratory rate (RR) were observed. Peak exercise workload and \( \dot V{\text{O}}_2 \) were lowest in Group 1 and similar between Group 2 and 3. Group 3 subjects also showed high peak \( \dot V{\text{CO}}_2 \) suggesting a greater glycolytic metabolism. In conclusion, a high PETCO2 during exercise is useful in identifying a specific respiratory pattern characterized by high tidal volume and low respiratory rate. This respiratory pattern may belong to subjects with potential high performance.

Keywords

AthletesEnd tidal of CO2VentilationExercise

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008