Relationship Between Heart Rate and Oxygen Kinetics During Constant Workload Exercise

Academic Article


  • Background: Oxygen uptake during constant workload exercise increases exponentially from its resting value before reaching a steady state. The difference between the actual rate of oxygen consumption at the onset of exercise and the steady state is an oxygen deficit. Similarly, the normal sinus node increases its rate at the onset of exercise before achieving a steady state, thereby producing a heart rate deficit. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that elimination of the heart rate deficit by an instantaneous increase in heart rate at the onset of constant workload exercise to the steady‐state level would reduce the oxygen deficit and improve the perceived difficulty of exertion as compared with the chronotropic response of the normal sinus node. Methods and Results: Ten subjects with normal sinus node function who had DDD pacemakers implanted for A V block completed a symptom‐limited maximal treadmill exercise test using the Chronotropic Assessment Exercise Protocol (CAEP) to assess sinus node function, maximal heart rate, and VO2 max. The subjects then performed constant workload exercise tests (6‐min duration) at a workload equal to approximately 50% of metabolic reserve with the pacemaker randomly programmed to each of three patterns of chronotropic response: (1) DDD (lower rate 60 beats/ min); (2) Fast (lower rate abruptly programmed to the expected value at 50% metabolic reserve); and (3) Overpaced (lower rate at least 80% of the age predicted maximum). The oxygen deficit was lower with the fast chronotropic response (434 ± 238 ml O2) than with either the DDD (512 ± 233; P = 0.02), or overpaced chronotropic patterns (488 ± 238; P = 0.02 vs fast). The rate constant for change in VO2 was highest with the fast chronotropic pattern (2.85 ± 1.38) compared with either the DDD (2.25 ± 0.64; P = 0.01) or overpaced (2.38 ± 0.43; P = 0.02) patterns. The Borg perceived exertion rating was lowest with the fast chronotropic response (P = 0.02 vs DDD and P = 0.02 vs overpaced). Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that oxygen kinetics and exertional symptoms are improved by an abrupt increase in pacing rate at the onset of exercise to a value that is appropriate for metabolic demand as compared with the DDD pacing mode in patients with normal sinus node function. In contrast, an overly aggressive chronotropic response was not associated with improved oxygen kinetics or exertional symptoms. Copyright © 1995, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved
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  • Start Page

  • 1853
  • End Page

  • 1860
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 10