Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs

Publication Date



The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to investigate the feasibility of transfusing packed red blood cells into dogs, and (2) to study the effect of polycythemia on the work capacity of dogs, as determined by maximum oxygen uptake and work performance tests.

The hypotheses tested following infusion of packed red blood cells were: (1) there would be an increase in hematocrit ratio; (2) there would be an increase in maximum oxygen uptake; (3) there would be an increase in work as measured in joules; and (4) that optimal oxygen uptake and work capacity would occur when hematocrit values were above normal.

The subjects for this study were eight Beagle dogs. The basic design to examine the hypotheses included an all out treadmill run and maximal oxygen uptake which was determined by an open circuit collection system. Physiological data collected were: pre- and post-exercise hematocrit, terminal heart rate, maximum oxygen uptake, and treadmill run time.

Analysis of variance and covariance were used to test for significance of differences of the measured variables between the pre- and post-infused experimental and control groups.

Based on the evidence obtained from the statistical analysis of the three variables at the 5 percent level of significance, the four hypotheses were examined.

Significant changes in blood hematocrit were obtained by the experimental and control groups as a result of an intravenous infusion of a 50 per cent solution of packed red blood cells. The physical work capacity of the post-infused experimental and control groups improved significantly above that of pre-infusion values. An increase in max:jmal oxygen uptake following infusion was observed in both the experimental and control groups; however, this was not verified as being statistically significant. Maximal oxygen uptake occurred when hematocrit values ranged between 58.2 and 59.0 per cent, and the greatest work capacity was obtained when hematocrit values ranged between 53.7 and 56.6 per cent.

Document Type




Degree Name

Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

William A. Bynum

Second Committee Member

James Cooper

Third Committee Member

Marvin Riedesel

Fourth Committee Member

Armond H. Seidler