The relationship of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) with dihydrogenated ergot alkaloids was investigated in twelve young men. They were subjected to graded bicycle exercise with work loads corresponding to 75% and 120% of the load necessary to elicit VO2 max. The exercise tests were performed after intravenous administration of 2 mg dihydroergostin (DE-145) as well as after saline as control, both preparations were given double-blind. VO2 max averaged (SD) 3.36 (0.41) 1/min and no significant difference was disclosed between the DE-145 and the control situation. Normal relationships were observed between VO2 and work load, ventilation, heart rate, cardiac output, central venous pressure and acid-base data, and these relations were unaffected by DE-145 administration. Nausea was constantly seen in all subjects tested with DE-145. It is concluded, that the present dose of DE-145 has no influence on the functional capacity of the oxygen transporting system in sedentary young men.
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