Pulmonary function in men after oxygen breathing at 3.0 ATA for 3.5 h

J. M. Clark, R. M. Jackson, C. J. Lambertsen, R. Gelfand, W. D.B. Hiller, M. Unger

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39 Scopus citations


As a pulmonary component of Predictive Studies V, designed to determine O2 tolerance of multiple organs and systems in humans at 3.0-1.5 ATA, pulmonary function was evaluated at 1.0 ATA in 13 healthy men before and after O2 exposure at 3.0 ATA for 3.5 h. Measurements included flow-volume loops, spirometry, and airway resistance (Raw) (n = 12); CO diffusing capacity (n = 11); closing volumes (n = 6); and air vs. HeO2 forced vital capacity maneuvers (n = 5). Chest discomfort, cough, and dyspnea were experienced during exposure in mild degree by most subjects. Mean forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and forced expiratory flow at 25-75% of vital capacity (FEF25-75) were significantly reduced postexposure by 5.9 and 11.8%, respectively, whereas forced vital capacity was not significantly changed. The average difference in maximum midexpiratory flow rates at 50% vital capacity on air and HeO2 was significantly reduced postexposure by 18%. Raw and CO diffusing capacity were not changed postexposure. The relatively large change in FEF25-75 compared with FEV1, the reduction in density dependence of flow, and the normal Raw postexposure are all consistent with flow limitation in peripheral airways as a major cause of the observed reduction in expiratory flow. Postexposure pulmonary function changes in one subject who convulsed at 3.0 h of exposure are compared with corresponding average changes in 12 subjects who did not convulse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)878-885
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • hyperbaric oxygen
  • oxygen limits
  • oxygen poisoning
  • oxygen tolerance in humans
  • pulmonary oxygen toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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