Respiratory sinus arrhythmia is associated with efficiency of pulmonary gas exchange in healthy humans

Nicholas D. Giardino, Robb W. Glenny, Soo Borson, Leighton Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) may be associated with improved efficiency of pulmonary gas exchange by matching ventilation to perfusion within each respiratory cycle. Respiration rate, tidal volume, minute ventilation (V̇E), exhaled carbon dioxide (V̇CO2), oxygen consumption (V̇o2), and heart rate were measured in 10 healthy human volunteers during paced breathing to test the hypothesis that RSA contributes to pulmonary gas exchange efficiency. Cross-spectral analysis of heart rate and respiration was computed to calculate RSA and the coherence and phase between these variables. Pulmonary gas exchange efficiency was measured as the average ventilatory equivalent of CO2 (V̇E/V̇CO2) and O2 (V̇E/V̇O2). Across subjects and paced breathing periods, RSA was significantly associated with CO2 (partial r = -0.53, P = 0.002) and O2 (partial r = -0.49, P = 0.005) exchange efficiency after controlling for the effects of age, respiration rate, tidal volume, and average heart rate. Phase between heart rate and respiration was significantly associated with CO2 exchange efficiency (partial r = 0.40, P = 0.03). These results are consistent with previous studies and further support the theory that RSA may improve the efficiency of pulmonary gas exchange.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1585-H1591
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Volume284
Issue number5 53-5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2003

Keywords

  • Heart rate variability
  • Phase
  • Ventilatory equivalent

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Respiratory sinus arrhythmia is associated with efficiency of pulmonary gas exchange in healthy humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this