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Effects of inhaled bronchodilators and corticosteroids on exercise induced arterial hypoxaemia in trained male athletes
  1. A N H Hodges1,
  2. B M Lynn2,
  3. M S Koehle1,
  4. D C McKenzie1
  1. 1School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  2. 2University of Oregon, Portland, Oregon, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 A N H Hodges
 School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, V6T 2G9, Canada;


Objectives: To determine the effect of prophylactic treatment with an inhaled bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory on arterial saturation (Sao2) in trained non-asthmatic male athletes with exercise induced arterial hypoxaemia (EIAH).

Methods: Nine male athletes (mean (SD) age 26.3 (6.7) years, height 182.6 (7.9) cm, weight 79.3 (10.5) kg, Vo2max 62.3 (6.3) ml/kg/min, Sao2min 92.5 (1.1)%) with no history of asthma were tested in two experimental conditions. A combination of a therapeutic dose of salbutamol and fluticasone or an inert placebo was administered in a randomised crossover design for seven days before maximal cycling exercise. Oxygen consumption (Vo2), ventilation (Ve), heart rate (HR), power output, and Sao2 were monitored during the exercise tests.

Results: There were no significant differences between the drug (D) and placebo (P) conditions for minimal Sao2 (D  =  93.6 (1.4), P  =  93.0 (1.1)%; p  =  0.93) Vo2max (D  =  61.5 (7.2), P  =  61.9 (6.3) ml/kg/min; p  =  0.91), peak power (D  =  444.4 (48.3), P  =  449.4 (43.9) W; p  =  0.90), peak Ve (D  =  147.8 (19.1), P  =  149.2 (15.5) litres/min; p  =  0.82), or peak heart rate (D  =  182.3 (10.0), P  =  180.8 (5.5) beats/min; p  =  0.76).

Conclusions: A therapeutic dose of salbutamol and fluticasone did not attenuate EIAH during maximal cycling in a group of trained male non-asthmatic athletes.

  • EIAH, exercise induced arterial hypoxaemia
  • FEV1, forced expiratory volume in one second
  • FVC, forced vital capacity
  • Sao2, arterial oxygen saturation
  • Vo2max, maximum oxygen consumption
  • arterial oxygen saturation
  • cycling
  • exercise
  • hypoxaemia

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  • Competing interests: none declared