Ventilation during steady-state exercise in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A preliminary study

Stewart R.I. ; Lewis C.M. (1985)


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In this preliminary study 20 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) walked on the treadmill until symptoms limited further exercise. When minute volume exceeded 60% of the predicted maximum breathing capacity the arterial carbon dioxide partial pressure was frequently low, thus indicating hyperventilation; the arterial oxygen partial pressure also declined on exercise. In only 2 patients was there alveolar hypoventilation. Although other factors may be operative, the hyperventilation in some patients with COPD may be induced by an exertional decline in alveolar oxygen partial pressure. In 4 patients the exercise tidal volume exceeded the resting inspiratory capacity, indicating a decline in functional residual capacity and increased work of breathing. It is concluded that there is a need further to assess patients with COPD in respect of the association between exertional dyspnoea, alveolar ventilation and lung mechanics.

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