The role of cerebral blood flow (CBF) on a maximal breath-hold (BH) in ultra-elite divers was examined. Divers (n = 7) performed one control BH, and one BH following oral administration of the non-selective cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin (1.2 mg/kg). Arterial blood gases and CBF were measured prior to (baseline), and at BH termination. Compared to control, indomethacin reduced baseline CBF and cerebral delivery of oxygen (CDO2) by about 26% (p < 0.01). Indomethacin reduced maximal BH time from 339 ± 51 to 319 ± 57 seconds (p = 0.04). In both conditions, the CDO2 remained unchanged from baseline to the termination of apnea. At BH termination, arterial oxygen tension was higher following oral administration of indomethacin compared to control (4.05 ± 0.45 vs. 3.44 ± 0.32 kPa). The absolute increase in CBF from baseline to the termination of apnea was lower with indomethacin (p = 0.01). These findings indicate that the impact of CBF on maximal BH time is likely attributable to its influence on cerebral H+ washout, and therefore central chemoreceptive drive to breathe, rather than to CDO2.
- Cerebral oxygen delivery