The effects of chronic airflow limitation, increased dead space, and the pattern of ventilation on gas exchange during maximal exercise in advanced cystic fibrosis

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1988 Dec;138(6):1524-31. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/138.6.1524.


Although exertional hypercapnea has been observed in patients with advanced cystic fibrosis (CF), the causes have not been fully elucidated. In 14 patients aged 15 to 35 yr of age with advanced CF, the effects of chronic airflow limitation (CAL), increased physiologic dead space (VD), and the timing components of ventilation (VE) on gas exchange during maximal exercise were assessed. The patients were divided into those who retained CO2 during exercise, the CO2R group, and those who did not, the CO2NR group. CO2 retention was defined as a rise in end-tidal CO2 tension of 5 mm Hg or more or to a value greater than 50 mm Hg during a progressive exercise test on a cycle ergometer. CO2 retention occurred in half the subjects, usually by the halfway mark of the test, and did not rise progressively as exercise continued. It was associated with a low VE caused by a low tidal volume (VT) that was the result of a short inspiratory time to total respiratory time ratio (0.33 +/- 0.03 versus 0.38 +/- 0.04, p less than 0.02), whereas there was no difference in mean inspiratory flow or respiratory rate. Although the CO2R group had the worst CAL, with a FEV1 of 28 +/- 7 versus 41 +/- 12% predicted (p less than 0.5) and a FVC of 42 +/- 12 versus 61 +/- 9% predicted (p less than 0.01), the VT at maximal work expressed as a percentage of FVC was lower (45 +/- 13 versus 60 +/- 11, p less than 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Carbon Dioxide / physiology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / etiology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange
  • Pulmonary Ventilation
  • Respiration
  • Respiratory Dead Space
  • Respiratory Function Tests


  • Carbon Dioxide