Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) performed during loaded breathing and hand grip exercise

Lung testing in the RAMP lab using medical equiptmentDetails on this research can be found at Shadgan et al. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology 2011; 178(2):202-209. and Basoudan, et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2016) 116: 841. doi:10.1007/s00421-016-3334-x.




  • We examined muscle oxygenation, deoxygenation and blood volume in the sternocleidomastoid, an accessory muscle of inspiration during progressive inspiratory threshold loading (ITL) in healthy subjects using near-infrared spectroscopy.Man wearing oxygenation mask
  • We compared the sternocleidomastoid response to other respiratory muscles (parasternal and intercostal muscles) and a quiescent limb muscle (vastus lateralis).
  • During progressive loading, the sternocleidomastoid showed the greatest changes with significant increases in deoxygenated and total hemoglobin.
  • Our data indicates that the sternocleidomastoid is an important muscle that is recruited at higher loads of breathing.
  • A second set of experiments during hypoxia (Basoudan et al) demonstrated that the sternocleidomastoid is the most vulnerable to deoxygenation while breathing hypoxia (15% O2).

The most recent set of experiments that examined forearm muscles during handgrip exercise while breathing hypoxia (12% O2) demonstrated that the muscle Sensors on leg during experimentdeoxygenates moreso during hypoxia and this deoxygenation is not detected by an oximeter that measures blood oxygen levels.

Grip testin the LAMP Lab






Graph of oxygenation & deoxygenation