Reproducibility of plasma catecholamine concentrations at rest and during exercise in man
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The purpose of this study was to test the reproducibility of plasma norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine (E) concentrations, at rest and during exercise, in man. Twelve young men were evaluated on two occasions (one week apart) at rest in supine and sitting positions and during dynamic exercise on bicycle ergometer: 5 min at a low intensity workload (heart rate=131–133 bt min−1) and 5 and 20 min at a higher intensity (174–175 bt min−1). Mean plasma NE and E concentrations were not significantly different (p<0.05) on the two occasions in any of the experimental situations. However large within-subject variations were present, and the “standard errors of a single measurement” corrected for the variability of the catecholamine assay, ranged from 14 to 50% for NE and 14 to 37% for E. These results indicate that the mean plasma NE and E concentrations observed in a group of subjects are reproducible from one week to the other, but that individual plasma NE and E concentrations are not. This lack of reliability of a single determination of plasma catecholamine concentrations might be due to cyclic variations of plasma NE and E concentrations over time.
Key wordsEpinephrine Norepinephrine Sympathetic system Exercise
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