Repeat exercise normalizes the gas-exchange impairment induced by a previous exercise bout in asthmatic subjects

H. C. Haverkamp, J. A. Dempsey, J. D. Miller, L. M. Romer, D. F. Pegelow, A. T. Lovering, M. W. Eldridge

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20 Scopus citations


Twenty-one subjects with asthma underwent treadmill exercise to exhaustion at a workload that elicited ∼90% of each subject's maximal O2 uptake (EX1). After EX1, 12 subjects experienced significant exercise-induced bronchospasm [(EIB+), %decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1.0 s = -24.0 ± 11.5%; pulmonary resistance at rest vs. postexercise = 3.2 ± 1.5 vs. 8.1 ± 4.5 cmH2O·1 -1·s-1] and nine did not (EIB-). The alveolar-to-arterial PO2 difference (A-aDO2) was widened from rest (9.1 ± 6.7 Torr) to 23.1 ± 10.4 and 18.1 ± 9.1 Torr at 35 min after EX1 in subjects with and without EIB, respectively (P < 0.05). Arterial PO2 (PaO2) was reduced in both groups during recovery (EIB+, -16.0 ± -13.0 Torr vs. baseline; EIB-, -11.0 ± 9.4 Torr vs. baseline, P ≤ 0.05). Forty minutes after EX1, a second exercise bout was completed at maximal O2 uptake. During the second exercise bout, pulmonary resistance decreased to baseline levels in the EIB+ group and the A-aDO2 and PaO2 returned to match the values seen during EX1 in both groups. Sputum histamine (34.6 ± 25.9 vs. 61.2 ± 42.0 ng/ml, pre- vs. postexercise) and urinary 9α,11β-prostaglandin F2 (74.5 ± 38.6 vs. 164.6 ± 84.2 ng/mmol creatinine, pre- vs. postexercise) were increased after exercise only in the EIB+ group (P < 0.05), and postexercise sputum histamine was significantly correlated with the exercise PaO2 and A-aDO2 in the EIB+ subjects. Thus exercise causes gas-exchange impairment during the postexercise period in asthmatic subjects independent of decreases in forced expiratory flow rates after the exercise; however, a subsequent exercise bout normalizes this impairment secondary in part to a fast acting, robust exercise-induced bronchodilatory response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1843-1852
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Airway inflammation
  • Alveolar-to-arterial oxygen difference
  • Bronchodilation
  • Exercise-induced bronchospasm
  • Pulmonary resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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