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Effect Of Acute And Established Anemia On O2 Transport At Rest, Submaximal And Maximal Work

R. D. Woodson, R. E. Wills, C. Lenfant

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Effects of acute and maintained isovolemic anemia on oxygen transport was studied during rest and exercise in normal males. Following 34% reduction in hemoglobin concentration (Hb), supine and standing Q rose acutely by 56% and 20%, respectively, but returned nearly to the control value by 10–14 days, producing a decrease in PVO2. Redistribution of blood flow appeared to compensate significantly for the decrease in systemic oxygen transport. 2,3-Diphosphoglycerate rose by 18%, in vivo PO2 at half-saturation of hemoglobin (P50) rose by approximately 2 mm over 7–9 days and probably afforded some compensation. The relationship between VO2 and external work intensity was independent of Hb. During exercise, Q/VO2 and VE/VO2 were increased in acute anemia, but PVO2, for a given VO2, decreased below control levels. After 10–14 days the relative increase in VE with exercise persisted; the increase in Q was less pronounced; and PVO2 was further decreased. With both acute and extablished anemia maximal exercise capacity and maximal VO2 (VO2 max) decreased in proportion to the Hb reduction.