Hawener, I., Franke, J., Marek, E. M., Hinrichs, T., & Platen, P. (June 03, 2010). Alterations in VO2max by blood donation and re-infusion after 2-week storage in moderately trained athletes. Presentation 2112 at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; June 2-5.

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This study investigated the effect of blood donation and autologous blood re-infusion in a heterogeneous group of moderately trained athletes (M = 5; F = 4) from different disciplines after a 2-week period of blood storage. Ss were tested during an incremental treadmill-test until individual exhaustion several times before and after a blood donation of 500 ml, and before and after the re-infusion of the red-blood cell concentrate (300 ml) after a two-week storage period. The highest measured oxygen uptake was defined as VO2max.

For females, VO2max before blood donation was ~39.6 ml/kg/min and immediately after declined slightly to ~35.8 ml/kg/min. The pre-donation value was reached again after 24 hours and remained stable up to 14 days later. Re-infusion did not induce any immediate or prolonged effect on VO2max in the moderately trained female athletes. In the males, VO2max decreased from ~60.3 ml/kg/min to ~55.4 ml/kg/min directly after donation. This decline remained stable after 24 hours and increased only slightly 14 days later (but not significantly). Re-infusion induced an immediate and significant increase in VO2max up to a value comparable to the first value before blood donation. This value remained stable up to three weeks after re-infusion.

Implication. 500 ml of blood donation decreased VO2max in both genders with a more prolonged effect in male moderately trained athletes. Re-infusion of the 300 ml red blood cell concentrate after a two-week storage period normalized aerobic performance, however could not induce a higher level as compared to the pre-donation value.

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