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Carbon monoxide inhalation reduces skeletal muscle fatigue resistance.

Morse, Christopher I. and Pritchard, L. J. and Wüst, Robert C.I. and Jones, David A. and Degens, Hans (2008) Carbon monoxide inhalation reduces skeletal muscle fatigue resistance. Acta physiologica, 192 (3). pp. 397-401. ISSN 1748-1708

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Abstract

AIM: To determine whether inhalation of carbon monoxide (CO), resulting in carboxyhaemoglobin (COHb) levels observed in smokers, had an effect on muscle fatigue during electrically evoked and voluntary muscle contractions. METHODS: Young non-smoking males inspired CO from a Douglas bag until their COHb level reached 6%. During the control condition the same participants inspired ambient air from a Douglas bag for 6 min. Fatigue was assessed as the decline in torque in isometric knee extensions, during 2 min of electrically evoked contractions (30 Hz, 1 s on, 1 s off) and during 2 min of maximal isometric voluntary contractions (1 s on, 1 s off). A fatigue index (FI) was calculated as the ratio of final torque : initial torque. Time to peak torque (TPT) and half relaxation time ((1/2)RT) were also determined for the electrically evoked contractions. RESULTS: The FI during both the voluntary fatigue test (control: 0.80 +/- 0.09 vs. CO: 0.70 +/- 0.08; mean +/- SD) and that of the fatigue test with electrically evoked contractions (control: 0.61 +/- 0.09 vs. CO: 0.53 +/- 0.12) was significantly lower after CO inhalation than after inhalation of ambient air (P < 0.05). There was, however, no effect of CO on the changes in TPT or (1/2)RT during the fatigue test. CONCLUSION: Carbon monoxide inhalation resulting in COHb levels found in smokers has an acute impact on the ability of the muscle to resist fatigue.

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