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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 April;60(4):643-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.19.10225-3


language: English

Effects of cardioselective beta-blockade on plasma catecholamines and performance during different forms of exercise

Sven FIKENZER 1 , Kati FIKENZER 1, Ulrich LAUFS 1, Roberto FALZ 2, Antina SCHULZE 2, Martin BUSSE 2

1 Cardiology Clinic and Polyclinic Hospital, Leipzig University Hospital, Leipzig, Germany; 2 Institute of Sport Medicine and Prevention, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

BACKGROUND: Beta-blockers are still frequently used in cardiovascular diseases but may negatively influence the exercise capacity. The aim of the study was to analyze the effect of beta-blockade on physical performance and plasma level of catecholamine during different forms of exercise.
METHODS: Ten prehypertensive athletes (age: 25.1±2.5 years, BMI: 24.4±2.4 kg/m2) performed repeated incremental exercise and steady-state-tests without and with the cardioselective beta-blocker bisoprolol (5mg/day). The cardiopulmonary, metabolic and the catecholamine responses were monitored.
RESULTS: Beta-blocker treatment had no effect on maximum power output (Pmax), lactate and the maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) (Pmax: 269.0±41.5 vs. 269.0±41.5 W; lactate: 8.7±2.6 vs. 8.6±3.2 mmol/L and VO2max: 3110±482 vs. 3077±425 mL/min, respectively; P not significant). Epinephrine and norepinephrine showed a similar exponential increase to maximum load with and without beta-blockade (epinephrinemax 1.92±1.8 vs. 1.93±1.3 nmol/L; P not significant; norepinephrinemax 12.78±7.9 vs. 16.89±12.2 nmol/L; P not significant). Beta-blockade lowered heart rate (HR) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) at rest and under maximum load (ΔHRrest: 10.6±11.1 bpm, P<0.05, ΔHR-Max: 27.8±6.6 bpm, P<0.01; ΔSBPrest: 19.4±9.3 mmHg, P<0.05, ΔSBPmax: 17.7±15.3 mmHg, P<0.01). The maximum oxygen pulse was higher in the tests performed under beta-blockade (IET: ΔVO2/HR: 3.1±2.2 mL/beat, P<0.01; SST: ΔVO2/HR: 3.4±1.4 mL/beat, P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Despite beta blockade and resulting differences in cardiopulmonary regulation during the exercise tests, the maximal oxygen capacity and the catecholamine concentration was similar. Higher exercise intensities (>50% Pmax) are associated with a marked increase in plasma catecholamines, which are not influenced by treatment with bisoprolol 5 mg/day.

KEY WORDS: Exercise test; Adrenergic beta-antagonists; Catecholamines; Lactates; Anaerobic threshold; Hypertension

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