Hyperoxia-induced stepwise reduction in blood flow through intrapulmonary, but not intracardiac, shunt during exercise

James T. Davis, Jonathan E. Elliott, Joseph W. Duke, Alberto Cristobal, Andrew T. Lovering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Blood flow through intrapulmonary arteriovenous anastomoses (IPAVA) (QIPAVA) increases during exercise breathing air, but it has been proposed that QIPAVA is reduced during exercise while breathing a fraction of inspired oxygen (FIO2) of 1.00. It has been argued that the reduction in saline contrast bubbles through IPAVA is due to altered in vivo microbubble dynamics with hyperoxia reducing bubble stability, rather than closure of IPAVA. To definitively determine whether breathing hyperoxia decreases saline contrast bubble stability in vivo, the present study included individuals with and without patent foramen ovale (PFO) to determine if hyperoxia also eliminates left heart contrast in people with an intracardiac right-to-left shunt. Thirty-two participants consisted of 16 without a PFO; 8 females, 8 with a PFO; 4 females, and 8 with late-appearing left-sided contrast (4 females) completed five, 4-min bouts of constant-load cycle ergometer exercise (males: 250 W, females: 175 W), breathing an FIO2 = 0.21, 0.40, 0.60, 0.80, and 1.00 in a balanced Latin Squares design. QIPAVA was assessed at rest and 3 min into each exercise bout via transthoracic saline contrast echocardiography and our previously used bubble scoring system. Bubble scores at FIO2= 0.21, 0.40, and 0.60 were unchanged and significantly greater than at FIO2= 0.80 and 1.00 in those without a PFO. Participants with a PFO had greater bubble scores at FIO2= 1.00 than those without a PFO. These data suggest that hyperoxia-induced decreases in QIPAVA during exercise occur when FIO2 ≥ 0.80

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-105
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • hyperoxia
  • intrapulmonary shunt
  • patent foramen ovale
  • pulmonary gas exchange
  • transthoracic saline contrast echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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