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Br J Anaesth. 2015 Apr;114(4):677-82. doi: 10.1093/bja/aeu404. Epub 2014 Dec 13.

Systemic oxygen extraction during exercise at high altitude.

Author information

1
UCLH NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Institute of Sport and Exercise Health, University College London Centre for Altitude Space and Extreme Environment Medicine, 170 Tottenham Court Road, London W1 T 7HA, UK daniel.martin@ucl.ac.uk.
2
UCLH NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Institute of Sport and Exercise Health, University College London Centre for Altitude Space and Extreme Environment Medicine, 170 Tottenham Court Road, London W1 T 7HA, UK.
3
UCLH NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Institute of Sport and Exercise Health, University College London Centre for Altitude Space and Extreme Environment Medicine, 170 Tottenham Court Road, London W1 T 7HA, UK Integrative Physiology and Critical Illness Group, Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Mailpoint 810, Sir Henry Wellcome Laboratories, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK Anaesthesia and Critical Care Research Unit, GICU, Mailpoint 27, Level D, Centre Block, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK NIHR Southampton Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, Southampton, UK.
4
UCLH NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Institute of Sport and Exercise Health, University College London Centre for Altitude Space and Extreme Environment Medicine, 170 Tottenham Court Road, London W1 T 7HA, UK Department of Anaesthesia, St George's Hospital, London, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Classic teaching suggests that diminished availability of oxygen leads to increased tissue oxygen extraction yet evidence to support this notion in the context of hypoxaemia, as opposed to anaemia or cardiac failure, is limited.

METHODS:

At 75 m above sea level, and after 7-8 days of acclimatization to 4559 m, systemic oxygen extraction [C(a-v)O2] was calculated in five participants at rest and at peak exercise. Absolute [C(a-v)O2] was calculated by subtracting central venous oxygen content (CcvO2) from arterial oxygen content [Formula: see text] in blood sampled from central venous and peripheral arterial catheters, respectively. Oxygen uptake [Formula: see text] was determined from expired gas analysis during exercise.

RESULTS:

Ascent to altitude resulted in significant hypoxaemia; median (range) [Formula: see text] 87.1 (82.5-90.7)% and [Formula: see text] 6.6 (5.7-6.8) kPa. While absolute C(a-v)O2 was reduced at maximum exercise at 4559 m [83.9 (67.5-120.9) ml litre(-1) vs 99.6 (88.0-151.3) ml litre(-1) at 75 m, P=0.043], there was no change in oxygen extraction ratio (OER) [C(a-v)O2/CaO2] between the two altitudes [0.52 (0.48-0.71) at 4559 m and 0.53 (0.49-0.73) at 75 m, P=0.500]. Comparison of C(a-v)O2 at peak [Formula: see text] at 4559 m and the equivalent [Formula: see text] at sea level for each participant also revealed no significant difference [83.9 (67.5-120.9) ml litre(1) vs 81.2 (73.0-120.7) ml litre(-1), respectively, P=0.225].

CONCLUSION:

In acclimatized individuals at 4559 m, there was a decline in maximum absolute C(a-v)O2 during exercise but no alteration in OER calculated using central venous oxygen measurements. This suggests that oxygen extraction may have become limited after exposure to 7-8 days of hypoxaemia.

KEYWORDS:

altitude; blood gas analysis; exercise; hypoxia; oxygen; physiology

PMID:
25501722
PMCID:
PMC4364061
DOI:
10.1093/bja/aeu404
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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