OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to compare relative oxygen pulse (adjusted for body weight) curves in athletes at their maximal heart rate during treadmill cardiopulmonary exercise testing. METHODS: A total of 180 elite soccer players were categorized in quartiles according to their maximum heart rate values (n = 45). Oxygen consumption, maximum heart rate and relative oxygen pulse curves in the extreme quartiles, Q1 and Q4, were compared at intervals corresponding to 10% of the total duration of a cardiopulmonary exercise testing. RESULTS:Oxygen consumption was similar among all subjects during cardiopulmonary exercise testing; however subjects in Q1 started to exhibit lower maximum heart rate values when 20% of the test was complete. Conversely, the relative oxygen pulse was higher in this group when cardiopulmonary exercise testing was 40% complete (p,.01). Although the slopes of the lines were similar(p =.25),the regression intercepts differed (p,.01) between Q1 and Q4. During the last two minutes of testing, a flat or decreasing oxygen pulse was identified in 20% of the soccer players, and this trend was similar between subjects in Q1 and Q4. ONCLUSION: Relative oxygen pulse curve slopes, which serve as an indirect and non-invasive surrogate for stroke volume, suggest that the stroke volume is similar in young and aerobically fit subjects regardless of the maximum heart rate reached.
- Cardiopulmonary exercise testing
- Maximum oxygen consumption
- Ramp protocol
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