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Pulmonary capillary recruitment in response to hypoxia in healthy humans: a possible role for hypoxic pulmonary venoconstriction?

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We examined mechanisms by which hypoxia may elicit pulmonary capillary recruitment in humans. On separate occasions, twenty-five healthy adults underwent exposure to intravenous saline infusion (30 ml/kg ∼ 15 min) or 17-h normobaric hypoxia ( [FIO2 = 12.5%). Cardiac output (Q) and pulmonary capillary blood volume (Vc) were measured before and after saline infusion and hypoxic-exposure by a rebreathing method. Pulmonary artery systolic pressure (sPpa) and left ventricular (LV) diastolic function were assessed before and after hypoxic-exposure via echocardiography. Saline infusion increased Q and Vc (P <0.05) with no change in Vc/Q (P = 0.97). Hypoxic-exposure increased Vc (P <0.01) despite no change in Q (P = 0.25), increased sPpa (P <0.01), and impaired LV relaxation. Multiple regression suggested that ∼ 37% of the hypoxia-mediated increase in Vc was attributable to alterations in Q, sPpa and LV diastolic function. In conclusion, hypoxia-induced pulmonary capillary recruitment in humans is only partly accounted for by changes in Q, sPpa and LV diastolic function. We speculate that hypoxic pulmonary venoconstriction may play a role in such recruitment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRespiratory Physiology & Neurobiology
Volume177
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
ISSN1569-9048
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Research areas

  • Adult, Anoxia, Capillaries, Echocardiography, Female, Hemodynamics, Humans, Lung, Male, Middle Aged, Respiratory Function Tests, Vasoconstriction, Young Adult

ID: 33267881