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Blood pooling in extrathoracic veins after glossopharyngeal insufflation

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PURPOSE: Trained breath-hold divers hyperinflate their lungs by glossopharyngeal insufflation (GPI) to prolong submersion time and withstand lung collapse at depths. Pulmonary hyperinflation leads to profound hemodynamic changes.

METHODS: Thirteen divers performed preparatory breath-holds followed by apnea with GPI. Filling of extrathoracic veins was determined by ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging and peripheral extravasation of fluid was assessed by electrical impedance. Femoral vein diameter was measured by ultrasound throughout the easy-going and struggle phase of apnea with GPI in eight divers in a sub-study.

RESULTS: After GPI, pulmonary volume increased by 0.8 ± 0.6 L above total lung capacity. The diameter of the superior caval (by 36 ± 17%) and intrathoracic part of the inferior caval vein decreased (by 21 ± 16%), while the diameters of the internal jugular (by 53 ± 34%), hepatic (by 28 ± 40%), abdominal part of the inferior caval (by 28 ± 28%), and femoral veins (by 65 ± 50%) all increased (P < 0.05). Blood volume of the internal jugular, the hepatic, the abdominal part of the inferior caval vein, and the combined common iliac and femoral veins increased by 145 ± 115, 80 ± 88, 61 ± 60, and 183 ± 197%, respectively. In the sub-study, femoral vein diameter increased by 44 ± 33% in the easy-going phase of apnea with GPI, subsequently decreasing by 20 ± 16% during the struggle phase. Electrical impedance remained unchanged over the thigh and forearm, thus excluding peripheral fluid extravasation.

CONCLUSIONS: GPI leads to heart and pulmonary vessel compression, resulting in redistribution of blood to extrathoracic capacitance veins proximal to venous valves. This is partially reversed by the onset of involuntary breathing movements.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
Volume117
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)641-649
ISSN1439-6319
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 50032378