Giorgio Manferdelli, Benjamin J. Narang, Nicolas Bourdillon, Tadej Debevec, Grégoire P. Millet

Baroreflex sensitivity is blunted in hypoxia independently of changes in inspired carbon dioxide pressure in prematurely born male adults

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology

AbstractPremature birth may result in specific cardiovascular responses to hypoxia and hypercapnia, that might hamper high‐altitude acclimatization. This study investigated the consequences of premature birth on baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) under hypoxic, hypobaric and hypercapnic conditions. Seventeen preterm born males (gestational age, 29 ± 1 weeks), and 17 age‐matched term born adults (40 ± 0 weeks) underwent consecutive 6‐min stages breathing different oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations at both sea‐level and high‐altitude (3375 m). Continuous blood pressure and ventilatory parameters were recorded in normobaric normoxia (NNx), normobaric normoxic hypercapnia (NNx + CO2), hypobaric hypoxia (HHx), hypobaric normoxia (HNx), hypobaric normoxia hypercapnia (HNx + CO2), and hypobaric hypoxia with end‐tidal CO2 clamped at NNx value (HHx + clamp). BRS was assessed using the sequence method. Across all conditions, BRS was lower in term born compared to preterm (13.0 ± 7.5 vs. 21.2 ± 8.8 ms⋅mmHg−1, main group effect: p < 0.01) participants. BRS was lower in HHx compared to NNx in term born (10.5 ± 4.9 vs. 16.0 ± 6.0 ms⋅mmHg−1, p = 0.05), but not in preterm (27.3 ± 15.7 vs. 17.6 ± 8.3 ms⋅mmHg−1, p = 0.43) participants, leading to a lower BRS in HHx in term born compared to preterm (p < 0.01). In conclusion, this study reports a blunted response of BRS during acute high‐altitude exposure without any influence of changes in inspired CO2 in healthy prematurely born adults.

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