Residence at high altitude could be accompanied by adaptations that later the mechanisms of O2 delivery to exercising muscle. Seven sea level resident males, aged 22 ± 1 yr, performed moderate to near-maximal steady-state cycle exercising muscle. Seven sea level resident males, aged 22 ± 1 yr, performed moderate to near-maximal steady-state cycle exercise at sea level in normoxia [inspired PO2 (PI(O2)) 150 Torr] and acute hypobaric hypoxia (barometric pressure, 445 Torr; PI(O2), 83 Torr), and after 18 days' residence on Pikes Peak (4,300 m) while breathing ambient air (PI(O2), 86 Torr) and air similar to that at sea level (35% O2, PI(O2), 144 Torr). In both hypoxia and normoxia, after acclimatization the femoral arterial-iliac venous O2 content difference, hemoglobin concentration, and arterial O2 content, were higher than before acclimatization, but the venous PO2 (PV(O2)) was unchanged. Thermodilution leg blood flow was lower but calculated arterial O2 delivery and leg V̇O2 similar in hypoxia after vs. before acclimatization. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) and total peripheral resistance in hypoxia were greater after, than before, acclimatization. We concluded that acclimatization did not increase O2 delivery but rather maintained delivery via increased arterial oxygenation and decreased leg blood flow. The maintenance of PV(O2) and the higher MAP after acclimatization suggested matching of O2 delivery to tissue O2 demands, with vasoconstriction possibly contributing to the decreased flow.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)