European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 103, Issue 6, pp 727–732 | Cite as

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

  • Maurizio Bussotti
  • Damiano Magrì
  • Emanuele Previtali
  • Stefania Farina
  • Anna Torri
  • Marco Matturri
  • Piergiuseppe Agostoni
Original Article

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

Athletes End tidal of CO2 Ventilation Exercise 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maurizio Bussotti
    • 1
  • Damiano Magrì
    • 1
    • 2
  • Emanuele Previtali
    • 3
  • Stefania Farina
    • 1
  • Anna Torri
    • 3
  • Marco Matturri
    • 1
  • Piergiuseppe Agostoni
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Centro Cardiologico Monzino, IRCCS, Istituto di CardiologiaUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienza Cardiovascolari, Respiratorie e MorfologicheUniversità La SapienzaRomeItaly
  3. 3.Istituto di Medicina Interna IIUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  4. 4.Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Department of MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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