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Free Content Cerebrovascular Response to CO2 Following 10 Days of Intermittent Hypoxia in Humans

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INTRODUCTION: It has been demonstrated that the cerebrovascular response to hypoxia is blunted following 10 d of intermittent hypoxia (IH) in healthy humans. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that IH reduces the cerebrovascular response to CO2.

METHODS: Healthy male subjects (N = 8; 25 ± 2 yr) were exposed to 10 consecutive days of IH (12% O2 for 5 min followed by 5 min of normoxia for 1 h/d). The cerebrovascular response to CO2 was assessed prior to (PRE-IH) and following (POST-IH) the IH paradigm with transcranial Doppler ultrasound.

RESULTS: There was no change in eupnic measures during or following the IH paradigm; however, the ventilatory response to IH increased by the last exposure (3.0 ± 2.8 L · min−1). Cerebral blood flow velocity decreased and increased with hypocapnia and hypercapnia, respectively, but cerebrovascular sensitivity to CO2 remained unchanged with IH (PRE-IH: 2.58 ± 0.50%/mmHg; POST-IH: 2.59 ± 0.74%/mmHg).

DISCUSSION: Our data indicates that 10 d of IH in healthy humans does not alter the cerebrovascular response to CO2. Redundancy of cerebrovascular regulation mechanisms to CO2 may work to counteract IH-induced dysregulation and protect cerebral tissue.

Querido JS, Welch JF, Ayas NT, Sheel AW. Cerebrovascular response to CO2 following 10 days of intermittent hypoxia in humans. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2015; 86(9):782–786.
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Keywords: carbon dioxide; cerebrovascular control; hypoxemia

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Medicine and the School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia – Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Publication date: September 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • This journal (formerly Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine), representing the members of the Aerospace Medical Association, is published monthly for those interested in aerospace medicine and human performance. It is devoted to serving and supporting all who explore, travel, work, or live in hazardous environments ranging from beneath the sea to the outermost reaches of space. The original scientific articles in this journal provide the latest available information on investigations into such areas as changes in ambient pressure, motion sickness, increased or decreased gravitational forces, thermal stresses, vision, fatigue, circadian rhythms, psychological stress, artificial environments, predictors of success, health maintenance, human factors engineering, clinical care, and others. This journal also publishes notes on scientific news and technical items of interest to the general reader, and provides teaching material and reviews for health care professionals.

    To access volumes 74 through 85, please click here.
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