Lung function and vascular effects of expert trumpet performance has not been elucidated. Airway mechanics, gas exchange and cardiovascular function were investigated in expert trumpeters during a challenging performance.
Respiratory impedance was measured in expert trumpeters and violinist controls prior to and following performance. Electrocardiography, pulse oximetry, transcutaneous CO2 and pulse transit time were monitored continuously.
Performance did not alter lung function or gas exchange, except for a reduction in transcutaneous CO2 in 14 expert trumpeters compared to 4 expert violinists. Heart rate variability and pulse transit time were significantly altered in the trumpeters only, associated with the performance ventilatory requirements with a weight to low frequency band reflecting elevated baroreflex feedback.
Trumpet performance at an expert level does not have an acute effect on airway mechanics and gas exchange was maintained. Repetitive increased intrathoracic pressure during performance resulted in marked heart rate and vagal tone variability. This study reveals the high demands placed on autonomic modulation of the cardiac response to expert trumpet performance.