Skip Navigation LinksHome > May 2010 - Volume 20 - Issue 3 > Stability of Hemoglobin Mass During a 6-Day UCI ProTour Cycl...
Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181ddcd5b
Original Research

Stability of Hemoglobin Mass During a 6-Day UCI ProTour Cycling Race

Garvican, Laura A BSc (Hons)*†; Eastwood, Annette BSc (Hons)†‡; Martin, David T PhD†; Ross, Megan L R BSc (Hons)*; Gripper, Anne MBA§; Gore, Christopher J PhD*†

Collapse Box


Objective: Blood doping in endurance sport is a growing problem. The purpose of this study was to determine the reliability of total hemoglobin mass (Hbmass) measurement in the field and to establish the variability of Hbmass during a cycling race, to assess its viability as an additional antidoping detection parameter.

Design: Control-matched longitudinal study.

Setting: International Cycling Union's (UCI) ProTour stage race.

Participants: Six professional cyclists and 5 recreationally active controls.

Interventions: Seventy-two Hbmass tests using the optimized carbon monoxide rebreathing method were performed over 7 consecutive days, before and throughout the tour. Fasted venous blood was obtained for measurement of hematocrit (Hct) and hemoglobin concentration [Hb] in the morning before stages 1, 3, and 6 (D1, D3, and D6).

Main Outcome Measures: Reliability of Hbmass measurement was established using typical error calculated from 2 baseline measures. Individual change scores and coefficients of variation were used to assess stability during racing.

Results: Typical error for Hbmass was 1.3% [95% confidence limits (CL): 0.9%, 2.5%]. Calculated 95% and 99.99% CL for percent change in Hbmass were ±3.6% and ±7.2%, respectively. Mean Hbmass remained within ±1.9% of baseline in cyclists and ±0.5% in controls. In all cases, individual change scores for both cyclists and controls fell within the 95% CL. There was a decrease in Hct (8.1% ± 2.8%) and [Hb] (9.7% ± 3.2%) throughout the tour in cyclists but not in controls.

Conclusions: We demonstrate that Hbmass can be measured reliably via CO-rebreathing during a cycling tour. Unlike [Hb] and Hct, Hbmass remains stable over 6 days of racing in professional cyclists and may have potential in an antidoping context.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

​​You Tube The CJSM Blog Linked In Facebook Twitter



Article Tools


Article Level Metrics

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.