Determining the Lactate Threshold in Patients with Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

  • T. L. Griffiths
  • S. E. Gregory
  • S. A. Ward
  • K. B. Saunders
  • B. J. Whipp


The degree of the metabolic stress associated with muscular exercise depends on the intensity of the work being performed. Consequently, the gas exchange, acid/base and ventilatory requirements will also be intensity dependent. Low intensity exercise can be performed utilising ATP formed aerobically through oxidative phosphorylation but supplemented from creatine phosphate stores utilisation. When heavy exercise is undertaken, anaerobic glycolysis further supplements the high energy phosphate transformation with the consequent production of lactic acid — which at cellular pH is dissociated virtually entirely into lactate ions (La) and protons (H+). The consequent H+ is predominantly buffered by bicarbonate ions (HCO3 ): the resulting carbonic acid yields extra carbon dioxide to be excreted by the lungs in addition to that produced from cellular respiration. The level of oxygen uptake at which lactate increases has been termed the Anaerobic or Lactate Threshold (LT).


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Anaerobic Threshold Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Lactate Threshold Incremental Exercise Test 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. L. Griffiths
    • 2
  • S. E. Gregory
    • 3
  • S. A. Ward
    • 4
  • K. B. Saunders
    • 1
  • B. J. Whipp
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Physiological Medicine and Department of PhysiologySt George’s Hospital Medical SchoolLondonUK
  2. 2.Section of Respiratory MedicineUniversity of Wales College of Medicine Llandough HospitalPenarthUK
  3. 3.Department of PhysiotherapyLondon Chest HospitalLondonUK
  4. 4.School of Applied ScienceSouth Bank UniversityLondonUK

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