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Gazzetta Medica Italiana - Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2021 November;180(11):771-6

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.21.04666-0

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The effect of respiratory protective masks on ventilatory efficiency and operating lung volumes in a recreational runner

Danilo M. PRADO 1, 2 , Francisco DRAGONE 1, Acácio S. VERAS-SILVA 3, Sérgio L. RIBEIRO 3, Dionis C. MACHADO 3, Cirley P. FERREIRA 4, Valmir O. SILVINO 4, Marcos A. SANTOS 4

1 Ultra Sports Laboratory, São Paulo, Brazil; 2 School of Medicine, Heart Institute, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 3 Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Federal University of Piauí, Piauí, Brazil; 4 Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Study Group in Physiology Applied to Performance and Health (NEFADS), Federal University of Piauí, Piauí, Brazil



We evaluated the effect of different respiratory protective masks (RPM) on ventilatory efficiency and operating lung volumes in a recreational runner. A healthy 36-years-old male runner underwent a pulmonary function test and cardiorespiratory exercise test with different RPM types and no mask (NM). Lung volumes and airflow resistance were similar regarding surgical and 3D knit masks compared to NM. Lower functional vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in 1 second were observed for N95 compared to NM. Regarding ventilatory efficiency analysis, lower values for VE/VCO2 slope in the interval at rest-respiratory compensation point and at rest-peak of exercise were observed for the surgical, 3D knit, and N95 masks compared to NM. Tidal flow volume loop analysis showed an increase in end-expiratory lung volume (EELV) in the interval 80% of the ventilatory anaerobic threshold-peak of exercise, while there was a decrease with NM. Lower VO2max was observed for surgical, 3D knit, and N95 masks compared to NM and lower speed at VO2max. The athlete reported greater comfort with 3D knit compared to surgical and N95 masks. The use of different RPM types during a progressive running exercise by a recreational runner showed lower ventilatory response and exercise tolerance, as well as increased EELV, perceived exertion, and respiratory discomfort.


KEY WORDS: Respiratory insufficiency; Respiratory protective devices; Running; COVID-19

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