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Increased myocardial blood flow during acute exposure to simulated altitudes


Kaufmann, P (2001). Increased myocardial blood flow during acute exposure to simulated altitudes. Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, 8(2):158-164.

Abstract

Background: Although only poor data exist on changes in myocardial blood flow (MBF) under acute hypoxia, patients with known coronary artery disease are advised not to exceed a moderate altitude exposure of about 2000 m above sea level. Methods and Results: We measured MBF with positron emission tomography using O-15-labeled water in 8 healthy human volunteers (aged 26 ± 3 years [mean ± SD]) at baseline (450 m above sea level, Zurich, Switzerland) and during acute hypoxic hypoxemia induced by inhalation of 2 hypoxic gas mixtures corresponding to altitudes of 2000 and 4500 m. MBF remained unchanged at 2000 m (increase of 10%, not significant) but increased significantly at 4500 m (62%, P <.001), exceeding the relative increase in rate pressure product. Conclusions: Our results may explain why exposure to an altitude of 2000 m (corresponding to the cabin pressure in most airplanes during flight) is clinically well tolerated, even by patients with reduced coronary flow reserve, such as those with coronary artery disease. However, at an altitude of 4500 m, MBF increases significantly, supporting the recommendation that patients with impaired flow reserve avoid exposure to higher altitudes

Abstract

Background: Although only poor data exist on changes in myocardial blood flow (MBF) under acute hypoxia, patients with known coronary artery disease are advised not to exceed a moderate altitude exposure of about 2000 m above sea level. Methods and Results: We measured MBF with positron emission tomography using O-15-labeled water in 8 healthy human volunteers (aged 26 ± 3 years [mean ± SD]) at baseline (450 m above sea level, Zurich, Switzerland) and during acute hypoxic hypoxemia induced by inhalation of 2 hypoxic gas mixtures corresponding to altitudes of 2000 and 4500 m. MBF remained unchanged at 2000 m (increase of 10%, not significant) but increased significantly at 4500 m (62%, P <.001), exceeding the relative increase in rate pressure product. Conclusions: Our results may explain why exposure to an altitude of 2000 m (corresponding to the cabin pressure in most airplanes during flight) is clinically well tolerated, even by patients with reduced coronary flow reserve, such as those with coronary artery disease. However, at an altitude of 4500 m, MBF increases significantly, supporting the recommendation that patients with impaired flow reserve avoid exposure to higher altitudes

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging
Health Sciences > Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
Language:English
Date:1 March 2001
Deposited On:26 Sep 2018 12:53
Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 14:53
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1071-3581
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1067/mnc.2001.112537

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