Near-infrared spectroscopy has long been used to measure tissue-specific O2 dynamics in exercise, but most published data have used continuous wave devices incapable of quantifying absolute Hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations. We used time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy to study exercising muscle (Vastus Lateralis, VL) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) Hb oxygenation in 11 young males (15.3 ± 2.1 yrs) performing incremental cycling until exhaustion (peak VO2 = 42.7 ± 6.1 ml/min/kg, mean peak power = 181 ± 38 W). Time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy measurements of reduced scattering (µs´) and absorption (µa) at three wavelengths (759, 796, and 833 nm) were used to calculate concentrations of oxyHb ([HbO2]), deoxy Hb ([HbR]), total Hb ([THb]), and O2 saturation (stO2). In PFC, significant increases were observed in both [HbO2] and [HbR] during intense exercise. PFC stO2% remained stable until 80% of total exercise time, then dropped (−2.95%, p = .0064). In VL, stO2% decreased until peak time (−6.8%, p = .01). Segmented linear regression identified thresholds for PFC [HbO2], [HbR], VL [THb]. There was a strong correlation between timing of second ventilatory threshold and decline in PFC [HbO2] (r = .84). These findings show that time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy can be used to study physiological threshold phenomena in children during maximal exercise, providing insight into tissue specific hemodynamics and metabolism.
Ganesan and Leu are with the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, Cerussi and Tromberg are with the Beckman Laser Institute, and Cooper and Galassetti are with the Dept. of Pediatrics, University of California, Irvine, CA.