Effects of hyperoxia on leg blood flow and metabolism during exercise

J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol. 1977 Mar;42(3):385-90. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1977.42.3.385.


These experiments were designed to investigate the effects of O2 breathing on limb blood flow and metabolism during exercise. Six subjects took part in the study. Four subjects breathed air or 100% O2 while pedaling a Krogh bicycle at 150 W (55-70% of maximal aerobic capacity). Two subjects breathed either 60% or 100% O2 while working at a power output at or slightly in excess of their maximal aerobic capacities. The major findings of the study were 1) leg blood flow is reduced during exercise when comparing hyperoxia with normoxia; 2) VO2 of the exercising limb is not different during hyperoxia; 3) O2 delivery to the leg (the product of blood flow and arteriovenous O2 difference) is not significantly different in the two conditions; and 4) blood pressure is not markedly affected in the experiments at 150 W. Since BP was not different during hyperoxia, at a time when flow was reduced by 11%, this suggests an increased resistance to flow in the exercising limb. In general, these findings are consistent with those reported for the in situ dog muscle but are at variance with results of experiments with humans, especially the reports indicating substantial increases in O2 uptake during hypertoxic conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure
  • Carbon Dioxide / blood
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation*
  • Lactates / blood
  • Leg / blood supply*
  • Leg / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Regional Blood Flow


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lactates
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Oxygen