Ventilatory dynamics in children and adults during sinusoidal exercise

Philippe Haouzi, Y. Fukuba, R. Peslin, B. Chalon, F. Marchal, J. P. Crance

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The ventilatory response to sinusoidally varying exercise was studied in five adults and seven prepubertal children to determine whether the faster kinetics of ventilation observed in children during abrupt changes in exercise intensity remained more rapid when exercise intensity varied continuously. Each subject exercised on a cycle ergometer first against a constant load and then against a load fluctuating over six different periods ranging from 0.75 to 10 min. The pedal rate was kept constant for all loads. The inspiratory minute ventilation was determined breath-by-breath. Amplitude (A) and phase angle (φ{symbol}) of the fundamental component and the first harmonics of the ventilatory response were calculated by Fourier analysis for an integer number of waves for each period. From the relationship between A, φ{symbol} and frequency, dynamic parameters of a first order model with and without delay were compared between adults and children. Firstly we found that the ventilatory time constant was significantly faster in children: 49.7 (SD 9.1) s vs 74.6 (SD 11.1) s (P<0.01). Secondly, the change in A and φ{symbol} with the frequency was not however characteristic of a first order system without delay in most of the subjects φ{symbol} > 90° for the shorter periods). Thirdly, even when the ventilatory control system was described as a first order model with a positive delay, time constants remained significantly shorter in children: 45.6 (SD 5.7) s vs 67.4 (SD 13) s (P<0.01). The ability to increase ventilation faster in children appeared to be a characteristic of the ventilatory control system during exercise independent of the type of drive used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-418
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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