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Evidence of ventilatory constraints in healthy exercising prepubescent children.

Abstract : We assessed expiratory airflow limitation (exp FL) in 18 healthy prepubescent children (6 girls and 12 boys, 10.1 +/- 0.3 years old), and examined how it might modulate regulation of tidal volume (V(T)) during exercise. The children performed a maximal incremental exercise on a cycle ergometer, preceded and followed by pulmonary function tests. Throughout exercise, breathing flow-volume loops were plotted into the maximal flow-volume loop (MFVL) measured at rest. End-expiratory and end-inspiratory lung volumes were estimated by measuring expiratory reserve volume relative to forced vital capacity (ERV/FVC), and inspiratory reserve volume relative to forced vital capacity (IRV/FVC), respectively. The exp FL, expressed as a percentage of V(T), was defined as the part of the tidal breath meeting the boundary of the MFVL. Ten children (FL) presented an exp FL at peak exercise (range, 16-78% of V(T)), and the remaining 8 constituted a non-flow-limited group (NFL). At peak exercise, FL presented a higher IRV/FVC and lower ERV/FVC (P < 0.01) than NFL children, demonstrating two different exercise breathing patterns. These results suggest that the NFL regulated V(T) at high lung volume, avoiding exp FL, while the FL breathed at low lung volume, leading to exp FL. At peak exercise, FL presented lower values of minute ventilation (P<0.05) and oxygen uptake (P<0.05) than NFL. Nevertheless, oxygen arterial saturation and dyspnea were similar in the two groups. In conclusion, ventilatory constraints may occur in healthy prepubescent children and result in relative dynamic hyperinflation or expiratory flow limitation.
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Cédric Nourry, Fabien Deruelle, Claudine Fabre, Georges Baquet, Frédéric Bart, et al.. Evidence of ventilatory constraints in healthy exercising prepubescent children.. Pediatric Pulmonology, Wiley, 2006, 41 (2), pp.133-40. ⟨10.1002/ppul.20332⟩. ⟨hal-02530696⟩

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