Doppler echocardiography was used to measure stroke volume, peak flow velocity, and acceleration of flow in the ascending aorta in 10 healthy young volunteers during unlimited supine bicycle exercise and upright treadmill exercise. High quality studies were obtained in all subjects through the suprasternal notch acoustic window; there was no appreciable degradation in Doppler signal caused by interference by increased respiration or chest wall motion. Stroke volume index increased from 54 ml/m2 at rest to 63.5 ml/m2 at peak supine exercise and from 38 ml/m2 standing at rest to 63.3 ml/m2 during peak upright exercise. Mean peak flow velocity rose from 0.91 m/s at supine rest to 1.36 m/s during maximum supine exercise. In the upright position mean peak flow velocity increased from 0.75 m/s at rest to 1.39 m/s during maximum exercise. Mean peak velocities were lower in the upright position at rest but were not significantly different at peak exercise. Mean acceleration of flow in the ascending aorta increased from 12.02 m/s2 during supine rest to 21.6 m/s2 during supine exercise and from 10.8 m/s2 at rest on the treadmill to 21.9 m/s2 during peak upright exercise. This study shows that echocardiographic measurement of ascending aortic blood flow by the Doppler technique is feasible even during vigorous exercise; that stroke volume and peak flow velocity at rest are lower in the upright position than in the supine position but equalise at peak exercise; and that acceleration of flow in the ascending aorta is the same in both the supine and upright positions and increases equally at peak exercise in both positions.
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