Cardiovascular responses during hypoventilation at exercise

Int J Sports Med. 2011 Jun;32(6):438-45. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1271788. Epub 2011 May 11.


This study aimed to determine the cardiovascular responses during a prolonged exercise with voluntary hypoventilation (VH). 7 men performed 3 series of 5-min exercise at 65% of normoxic maximal O (2) uptake under 3 conditions: (1) normal breathing (NB) in normoxia (NB (0.21)), (2) VH in normoxia (VH (0.21)), (3) NB in hypoxia (NB (0.157), inspired oxygen fraction=0.157). In both VH (0.21) and NB (0.157), there was a similar drop in arterial oxygen saturation and arterial O (2) content (CaO (2)) which were lower than in NB (0.21). Heart rate (HR), stroke volume, and cardiac output (-) were higher in VH (0.21) than in NB (0.21) during most parts of exercise whereas there was no difference between NB (0.157) and VH (0.21) or NB (0.21). HR variability analysis suggested an increased sympathetic modulation in VH (0.21) only. O (2) transport and oxygen uptake were generally not different between interventions. Mixed venous O (2) content (C-O (2)) was lower in NB (0.157) than in both VH (0.21) and NB (0.21) and not different between the latter. CaO (2)-C-O (2) was not different between NB (0.157) and NB (0.21) but lower in VH (0.21). This study shows that a prolonged exercise with VH leads to a greater cardiac activity, independent from the hypoxic effect. The greater - in VH compared to normal breathing seems to be the main factor for compensating the drop of arterial oxygen content.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiac Output / physiology
  • Exercise Test
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypoventilation / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Stroke Volume / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Oxygen