Scientific article

Alveolar gas composition and exchange during deep breath-hold diving and dry breath holds in elite divers

Publication date1991

End tidal O2 and CO2 (PETCO2) pressures, expired volume, blood lactate concentration ([Lab]), and arterial blood O2 saturation [dry breath holds (BHs) only] were assessed in three elite breath-hold divers (ED) before and after deep dives and BH and in nine control subjects (C; BH only). After the dives (depth 40-70 m, duration 88-151 s), end-tidal O2 pressure decreased from approximately 140 Torr to a minimum of 30.6 Torr, PETCO2 increased from approximately 25 Torr to a maximum of 47.0 Torr, and expired volume (BTPS) ranged from 1.32 to 2.86 liters. Pulmonary O2 exchange was 455-1,006 ml. CO2 output approached zero. [Lab] increased from approximately 1.2 mM to at most 6.46 mM. Estimated power output during dives was 513-929 ml O2/min, i.e. approximately 20-30% of maximal O2 consumption. During BH, alveolar PO2 decreased from approximately 130 to less than 30 Torr in ED and from 125 to 45 Torr in C. PETCO2 increased from approximately 30 to approximately 50 Torr in both ED and C. Contrary to C, pulmonary O2 exchange in ED was less than resting O2 consumption, whereas CO2 output approached zero in both groups. [Lab] was unchanged. Arterial blood O2 saturation decreased more in ED than in C. ED are characterized by increased anaerobic metabolism likely due to the existence of a diving reflex.

  • Adult
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Diving
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactates/blood
  • Lactic Acid
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen
  • Pulmonary Alveoli/physiology
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange/ physiology
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
FERRETTI, Guido et al. Alveolar gas composition and exchange during deep breath-hold diving and dry breath holds in elite divers. In: Journal of applied physiology: respiratory, environmental and exercise physiology, 1991, vol. 70, n° 2, p. 794–802.
Updates (1)
ISSN of the journal0161-7567

Technical informations

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