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A review of the stroke volume response to upright exercise in healthy subjects
  1. C A Vella,
  2. R A Robergs
  1. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Vella
 University of New Mexico, MSC 04 2610, 1, Albuquerque 87131, USA;


Traditionally, it has been accepted that, during incremental exercise, stroke volume plateaus at 40% of Vo2max. However, recent research has documented that stroke volume progressively increases to Vo2max in both trained and untrained subjects. The stroke volume response to incremental exercise to Vo2max may be influenced by training status, age, and sex. For endurance trained subjects, the proposed mechanisms for the progressive increase in stroke volume to Vo2max are enhanced diastolic filling, enhanced contractility, larger blood volume, and decreased cardiac afterload. For untrained subjects, it has been proposed that continued increases in stroke volume may result from a naturally occurring high blood volume. However, additional research is needed to evaluate the importance of blood volume, or other mechanisms, that influence the stroke volume response to exercise in untrained subjects.

  • cardiac output
  • contractility
  • diastolic filling
  • maximum oxygen uptake

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  • Competing interests: none declared

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    BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine