Erythropoietin concentration and arterial haemoglobin saturation with supramaximal exercise.J Sports Sci. 1999 Jun; 17(6):485-93.JS
The aim of this study was to determine if the hypoxaemic stimulus generated by intense exercise results in the physiological response of increased erythropoietin production. Twenty athletes exercised for 3 min at 109 +/- 2.8% (mean +/- s) maximal oxygen consumption. Estimated oxyhaemoglobin saturation was measured by reflective probe pulse oximetry (Nellcor N200) and was validated against arterial oxyhaemoglobin saturation by CO-oximetry in eight athletes. Serum erythropoietin concentrations-as measured using the INCSTAR Epo-Trac radioimmunoassay-increased significantly by 28 +/- 9% at 24 h post-exercise in 11 participants, who also had an arterial oxyhaemoglobin saturation < or = 91% (P < 0.05). Decreased ferritin levels and increased reticulocyte counts were observed at 96 h post-exercise. However, no significant changes in erythropoietin levels were observed in nine non-desaturating athletes and eight non-exercise controls. Good agreement was shown between arterial oxyhaemoglobin saturation and percent estimated oxyhaemoglobin saturation (limits of agreement = -3.9 to 3.7%). In conclusion, short supramaximal exercise can induce both hypoxaemia and increased erythropoietin levels in well-trained individuals. The decline of arterial hypoxaemia levels below 91% during exercise appears to be necessary for the exercise-induced elevation of serum erythropoietin levels. Furthermore, reflective probe pulse oximetry was found to be a valid predictor of percent arterial oxyhaemoglobin saturation during supramaximal exercise when percent estimated oxyhaemoglobin saturation > or = 86%.