Cardiac Output, Oxygen Consumption and Muscle Oxygen Delivery in Submaximal Exercise

Normal and low O2 states
  • Christopher B. Wolff
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 510)


Cardiac output (Q) changes linearly with oxygen consumption (VO2) in normal subjects undertaking submaximal exercise (Q = A + B. VO2 where A is the y intercept and B the slope). If (hypothesis 1) the increase in cardiac output above the resting state represents the blood flow to exercising muscle (qm) and the increase in VO2 represents the oxygen consumption of exercising muscle (V02m) then, where CaO2 is the arterial oxygen content, oxygen extraction, Em = 1/(B x C.02). Secondly, exercising muscle venous oxygen content, C,,O2m = C.02-1/B. Limiting the hypothesis just to the calculation of VO2m (hypothesis 2) allows calculation of qm if C.O2 and Cv02m are available. From Koskolov et al. (Am. J. Physiol.: Heart and Circ. Physiol. 273, H1787-H1793, 1997), exercising muscle blood flow (qm) is equal to the increment in cardiac output when CaO2 is normal but exceeds it when C.O2 is low. Muscle Oxygen extraction (Em) is found to be 68% in submaximal exercise. Hence, muscle oxygen delivery (DaO2m) for a given metabolic rate is sustained in low 02 states (at 1.48 ml D.02m per ml VOzm), confirmed by analysis of Roach et al. (Am. J. Physiol.: Heart and Circ. Physiol. 276, H438-H445, 1999).


Cardiac Output Oxygen Consumption Oxygen Delivery Submaximal Exercise Oxygen Extraction 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher B. Wolff
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical PharmacologySt Bartholomew’s and the Royal London School of Medicine and DentistryLondonUK

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