Near infrared spectroscopy and changes in skeletal muscle oxygenation during incremental exercise in chronic heart failure: a comparison with healthy subjects

G Ital Cardiol. 1995 Jun;25(6):715-24.


Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a noninvasive technique of monitoring tissue oxygen saturation by detecting changes in tissue absorbance of two wavelengths (850 and 760 nm) reflecting the relative oxygenation of hemoglobin and myoglobin. Aim of the present study was to determine whether changes in skeletal muscle oxygen saturation during incremental exercise detected by NIRS can reflect an impared oxygen delivery and an early onset of anaerobic metabolism in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). We studied 19 subjects (mean age 43 +/- 16 years). Seven patients had a history of CHF with a diagnosis of ischemic cardiomyopathy (Group A) and 12 were healthy sedentary (Group B). All patients had a history of dyspnea on exertion (NY-HA II), peripheral edema, pulmonary rales and cardiac gallop sounds over the last 6 months. They were in sinus rhythm and stable clinical condition in the last 3 months. They were well matched regarding age, sex and body surface area. All subjects performed an incremental work rate test in a ramp pattern on a upright cycle ergometer until volitional fatigue. Gas exchange was measured breath by breath with a metabolic chart. Muscle oxygenation was determined, transcutaneously, during the exercise test over the vastus lateralis muscle with NIRS. At peak exercise, work rate, VO2, anaerobic threshold (LAT), heart rate and systolic blood pressure were significantly lower in Group A compared to Group B (92 +/- 28 vs 232 +/- 17 watts; 14 +/- 2 vs 21 +/- 2 ml/kg/min; 868 +/- 225 vs 1317 +/- 354 ml/min; 149 +/- 7 vs 172 +/- 18 b/min; 145 +/- 18 vs 195 +/- 21 mm Hg, respectively; p < 0.0001 for all). In both groups, as work rate increased, tissue oxygenation initially either remained constant near resting levels or decreased. In both groups, muscle oxygenation decreased more steeply near the work rate where lactic acidosis (LAT) was detected. However, patients with CHF had an earlier acceleration in muscle deoxygenation compared to the other group, indicating a premature onset of anaerobic metabolism. Moreover, Group A had a flatter increase in both heart rate and systolic blood pressure and a steeper slope of oxygenation profile at all matched workloads compared to normals (Group A: -0.13 +/- 0.03 ml/min; Group B: -0.06 +/- 0.015 ml/min; p < 0.0001). The LAT correlated with the work rate at which the rate of tissue O2 desaturation accelerated (r = 0.94; p < 0.0001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Calibration
  • Chronic Disease
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / metabolism*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Spectrophotometry, Infrared / instrumentation
  • Spectrophotometry, Infrared / methods
  • Spectrophotometry, Infrared / statistics & numerical data