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Decreased lung capillary blood volume post-exercise is compensated by increased membrane diffusing capacity


Johns, DP and Berry, D and Maskrey, M and Wood-Baker, R and Reid, DW and Walters, EH and Walls, JT, Decreased lung capillary blood volume post-exercise is compensated by increased membrane diffusing capacity, European Journal of Applied Physiology, 93, (1-2) pp. 96-101. ISSN 1439-6319 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00421-004-1170-x


The diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) decreases to below the pre-exercise value in the hours following a bout of intense exercise. Two mechanisms have been proposed: (1) development of pulmonary oedema and (2) redistribution of central blood volume to peripheral muscles causing a reduction in pulmonary capillary blood volume (Vc). In the present study DLCO, Vc and the membrane diffusing capacity (Dm) were measured in nine healthy females using a rebreathing method, in contrast to the single breath technique employed in previous studies. DLCO, Vc and Dm were measured before and at 1, 2, 3, 16 and 24 h following maximal treadmill exercise. Compared with pre-exercise values, DLCO was depressed by up to 8.9 (3.0)% (P < 0.05) for the first 3 h following exercise, but had returned to pre-exercise values by 16 h post-exercise. Vc fell by 21.2 (4.1)% (P < 0.05) at 3 h post-exercise, but at the same time Dm increased by 14.7 (9.1)%. It was concluded that: (1) the increase in Dm made it unlikely that the fall in DLCO was due to interstitial oedema and injury to the blood gas barrier; (2) on the other hand, the reduction in DLCO following exercise was consistent with a redistribution of blood away from the lungs; and (3) the trend for Dm and Vc to reciprocate one another indicates a situation in which a fall in Vc nevertheless promotes gas transfer at the respiratory membrane. It is suggested that this effect is brought about by the reorientation of red blood cells within the pulmonary capillaries following exercise. © Springer-Verlag 2004.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Respiratory diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Johns, DP (Associate Professor David Johns)
UTAS Author:Berry, D (Ms Danielle Berry)
UTAS Author:Maskrey, M (Associate Professor Michael Maskrey)
UTAS Author:Wood-Baker, R (Professor Richard Wood-Baker)
UTAS Author:Reid, DW (Dr David Reid)
UTAS Author:Walters, EH (Professor Haydn Walters)
UTAS Author:Walls, JT (Professor Justin Walls)
ID Code:29836
Year Published:2004
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2004-08-01
Last Modified:2011-10-04

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