Pulmonary Physiology Laboratory

The Cardiopulmonary Laboratory is a state-of-the-art research/clinical laboratory used to study integrated physiological responses to exercise in humans. It includes a full service exercise physiology laboratory, pulmonary function laboratory, and body composition laboratory. These facilities have been used for NIH funded research studies in pulmonary disease, normal aging, obesity, ventilatory control during exercise, and clinical cardiopulmonary exercise testing, which is part of our locally and nationally recognized referral center for the examination of patients with unexplained shortness of breath on exertion.

Interests

Dr. Babb’s laboratory focuses on studies of respiratory function during exercise.

Dyspnea on Exertion in Obesity: Perceived breathlessness is a common complaint of many obese individuals. By testing pulmonary function, exercise capacity, respiratory mechanics, work of breathing, and body composition, we are able to identify connections between physiological markers, respiratory mechanics, and shortness of breath on exertion. Our overall goal is to find better approaches regarding the prevention, care, and treatment of exertional dyspnea in obesity.

Short Term Modulation (STM) of the Ventilatory Response to Exercise: STM represents the ability of the respiratory control system to accommodate changes in environmental or physiological conditions by adjusting breathing in order to keep blood gases at appropriate levels. Our laboratory seeks to understand the effects of respiratory mechanics, intermittent hypoxia (primary symptom of obstructive sleep apnea) and serotonin availability on the ventilatory control during exercise. Currently, we have studied age and gender effects on STM and have new investigations in obese and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) patients.

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing: Determination of ventilatory limitations during exercise remains an important clinical issue. By examining the ventilatory response to exercise in combination with measures of respiratory mechanics and cardiovascular function, we are able to investigate the importance of respiratory constraints in exercise ventilatory limitation in cardiopulmonary patients.


Current Projects

  • Obesity Weight Loss Intervention: Does weight loss alone, especially the loss of chest wall fat, ameliorate exertional dyspnea in obese adults with dyspnea on exertion? (funded by the NIH – NHLBI)
  • Obesity Exercise Training Intervention: Does endurance exercise training alone ameliorate exertional dyspnea in obese adults with dyspnea on exertion? (funded by the NIH – NHLBI)
  • Short Term Modulation of the Exercise Ventilatory Response in OSA patients: The mechanism of an exaggerated ventilatory response to exercise in obese OSA patients is unknown. By investigating whether OSA patients have a diminished capacity for STM we hope to better understand limitations to exercise in these patients.

Publications

  1. Babb TG, DS DeLorey, and BL Wyrick. Ventilatory response to exercise in aged runners breathing He-O2 or inspired CO2. J Appl Physiol 94:685-693, 2003
  2. Ge Ri-Li, Chase PJ, Witkowski S, Wyrick BL, Stone JA, Levine BD, Babb TG. Obesity: associations with acute mountain sickness, Ann Intern Med, 139:253-257, 2003
  3. DeLorey, DS, BL Wyrick, and TG Babb. Mild-to-moderate obesity: implications for respiratory mechanics at rest and during exercise in young men. Int J Obes 29:1039-1047, 2005
  4. Wood, HE, Mitchell GS, Babb TG. Short-term modulation of the exercise ventilatory response in young men. J Appl Physiol 104:244-252, 2008
  5. Babb TG, Ranasinghe KG, Semon TL, Comeau LA, and Schwartz B. Dyspnea on exertion in obese women: association with an increased oxygen cost of breathing. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 178:116-123, 2008
  6. Babb TG, BL Wyrick, DS DeLorey, PJ Chase, and MY Feng. Fat distribution and end-expiratory lung volume in lean and obese men and women. Chest 134:704-711, 2008
  7. Wood HE, Mitchell GS, Babb TG. Short-term modulation of the exercise ventilatory response in older men. Respir Physiol Neurobiol, 173:37-46, 2010
  8. Babb TG, BL Wyrick, PJ Chase, DS DeLorey, SG Rodder, MY Feng, and KG Ranasinghe. Weight loss via diet and exercise improves exercise breathing mechanics in obese men. Chest, 140:454-460, 2011
  9. Wood HE, Mitchell GS, Babb TG. Short-term modulation of the exercise ventilatory response in younger and older women. Respir Physiol Neurobiol, 179:235-247, 2011
  10. Babb TG, Beck KC, Johnson BD. Dysanapsis: importance of measured lung static recoil pressure.Med Sci Sports Exerc. 44(6):1194; author reply 1195, 2012
  11. Lorenzo S, Babb TG. Oxygen cost of breathing and breathlessness during exercise in nonobese women and men. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 44(6):1043-8, 2012
  12. Babb T, Levine B, Philley J.ICU-acquired weakness: an extension of the effects of bed rest. Am J Respir Crit Care Med.185(2):230-1, 2012
  13. Lorenzo S and Babb TG. Quantification of cardiorespiratory fitness in healthy nonobese and obese men and women. Chest, 141:1031-1039, 2012
  14. Lorenzo S, Babb TG. Ventilatory responses at peak exercise in endurance-trained obese adults.Chest,144(4):1330-9. doi: 10.1378/chest.12-3022, 2013
  15. Babb TG. Obesity: challenges to ventilatory control during exercise--a brief review. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 189(2):364-70. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2013.05.019, 2013
  16. Bernhardt V, Wood HE, Moran RB, Babb TG. Dyspnea on exertion in obese men. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 185(2):241-8. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2012.10.007, 2013
  17. Babb TG. Exercise ventilatory limitation: the role of expiratory flow limitation. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 41(1):11-8. doi: 10.1097/JES.0b013e318267c0d2, 2013
  18. Bernhardt V, Lorenzo S, Babb TG, Zavorsky GS.Corrected end-tidal P(CO(2)) accurately estimates Pa(CO(2)) at rest and during exercise in morbidly obese adults.Chest. 143(2):471-7, 2013
  19. Bernhardt V and Babb TG. Weight loss reduces dyspnea on exertion in obese women. Respir Physiol Neurobiol, 204:86-92, 2014
  20. Bernhardt V and Babb TG. Aerobic exercise training without weight loss reduces dyspnea on exertion in obese women. Respir Physiol Neurobiol, 221:64-70, 2016
  21. Bhammar DM, Stickford JL, Bernhardt V, Babb TG. Effect of weight loss on operational lung volumes and oxygen cost of breathing in obese women.Int J Obes (Lond). 40(6):998-1004.2016