Brachial artery blood flow dynamics during sinusoidal leg cycling exercise in humans
The present study was undertaken to investigate possible distortion in responses of respiratory variables including O2 uptake (VO2), CO2 output (VCO2), and ventilation (VE) to sinusoidal work load, and to find out whether the conventional transfer models were applicable to analyze the dynamics of these variables. Six healthy subjects performed exercise for 32 min on a bicycle ergometer with electro-magnetic braking. The work load was varied sinusoidally between 30 W and 60% of maximum O2 uptake (VO2max) during periods from 1 to 16 min. The respiratory variables were measured on a breath-by-breath basis with a mass spectrometer and a computer system. The responses of VO2, VCO2, and VE to sinusoidal work load were not completely sinusoidal in form but were somewhat distorted, forming saw-tooth waves with steeper down-slopes during periods of 4-16 min, but this distortion was not observed at 1 min or 2 min periods. However, the results could be approximately described by a first-order model without or with time delay. Time constants of the first-order model without time delay were 46 sec for VO2, 62 sec for VCO2, and 73 sec for VE, respectively. We also found a close relationship between the time constants of VO2 and VCO2 and VO2max. These results suggested that exponential functions may be applied and are expected to yield valid results in assessing physical fitness, although the control of ventilatory and gas exchange in exercise does show non-linear characteristics.