The combined single-breath measurement of the diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide (DL,CO) and nitric oxide (DL,NO) is a useful technique to measure pulmonary alveolar-capillary reserve in both healthy and patient populations. The measurement provides an estimate of the participant's ability to recruit and distend pulmonary capillaries. The method has recently been reported to exhibit a high test-retest reliability in healthy volunteers during exercise of light to moderate intensity. Of note, this technique permits up to 12 repeated maneuvers and only requires a single breath with a relatively short breath-hold time of 5 s. Representative data are provided showing the gradual changes in DL,NO and DL,CO from rest to exercise at increasing intensities of up to 60% of maximal workload. The measurement of diffusing capacity and evaluation of alveolar-capillary reserve is a useful tool to evaluate the lung's ability to respond to exercise both in the healthy population as well as in patient populations such as those with chronic lung disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere65871
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Issue number204
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2024


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