Effect of acute and established anemia on O2 transport at rest, submaximal and maximal work

J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol. 1978 Jan;44(1):36-43. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1978.44.1.36.


Effects of acute and maintained isovolemic anemia on oxygen transport was studied during rest and exercise in normal males. Following 34% reduction in hemoglobin concentration (Hb), supine and standing Q rose acutely by 56% and 20%, respectively, but returned nearly to the control value by 10-14 days, producing a decrease in PVO2. Redistribution of blood flow appeared to compensate significantly for the decrease in systemic oxygen transport. 2,3-Diphosphoglycerate rose by 18%, in vivo PO2 at half-saturation of hemoglobin (P50) rose by approximately 2 mm over 7-9 days and probably afforded some compensation. The relationship between VO2 and external work intensity was independent of Hb. During exercise, Q/VO2 and VE/VO2 were increased in acute anemia, but PVO2, for a given VO2, decreased below control levels. After 10-14 days the relative increase in VE with exercise persisted; the increase in Q was less pronounced; and PVO2 was further decreased. With both acute and extablished anemia maximal exercise capacity and maximal VO2 (VO2 max) decreased in proportion to the Hb reduction.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Anemia / blood
  • Anemia / physiopathology*
  • Cardiac Output
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diphosphoglyceric Acids / blood
  • Heart Rate
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Respiration


  • Diphosphoglyceric Acids
  • Hemoglobins
  • Oxygen