Effects of sustained and repetitive isocapnic hypoxia on ventilation and genioglossal and diaphragmatic EMGs

R. Douglas Mcevoy, Rainer M. Popovic, Nicholas A. Saunders, David P. White

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    78 Citations (Scopus)


    We compared the effects of sustained isocapnic hypoxia (SIH; 20 min) and repetitive isocapnic hypoxia (RIH; 10 2-min episodes) on ventilation (V̇I), genioglossal (EMGgg) and diaphragmatic electromyographic (EMGdi) activities, and supraglottic airway resistance in 11 normal supine male subjects (36.6 ± 2.2 yr) during wakefulness. Seven of the subjects had control measurements on a separate day. Desaturation was similar (arterial O2 saturation 80-84%) in the SIH and RIH protocols. SIH and RIH caused a biphasic ventilatory response: early augmentation of V̇I (169.5 ± 6.9 and 168.9 ± 4.3% of baseline, respectively; not significant) followed by a significant roll-off (V̇I after 20 min of cumulative hypoxia 153 ± 4.0 and 150.8 ± 10.2% respectively; not significant). Moving-time-average EMGdi signals (peak inspiratory and phasic) demonstrated a similar biphasic response in the two protocols. Mean EMGgg responses, however, differed. During SIH, peak inspiratory EMGgg increased early and remained elevated. Phasic and tonic EMGgg signals showed a similar trend. During RIH, early augmentation of peak inspiratory and phasic EMGgg signals was followed by a marked roll-off in activity such that by the 10th hypoxic episode neither value increased above baseline. In the 2-min periods between hypoxic episodes, there was a progressive suppression of peak inspiratory and phasic EMGgg values below baseline. Supraglottic airway resistance did not change significantly during either SIH or RIH. V̇I and phasic EMGs did not change during control experiments. We conclude that in awake normal male subjects SIH and RIH cause similar biphasic responses in V̇I and EMGdi activity. Phasic EMGgg remains augmented during SIH, whereas during RIH early augmentation is followed by marked suppression.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)866-875
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 1996


    • diaphragmatic electromyogram
    • genioglossal electromyogram


    Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of sustained and repetitive isocapnic hypoxia on ventilation and genioglossal and diaphragmatic EMGs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this