Impaired cerebrovascular CO2 reactivity at high altitude in prematurely born adults.


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Impaired cerebrovascular CO2 reactivity at high altitude in prematurely born adults.
The Journal of physiology
Manferdelli G., Narang B.J., Bourdillon N., Giardini G., Debevec T., Millet G.P.
1469-7793 (Electronic)
Publication state
In Press
Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: aheadofprint
Premature birth impairs cardiac and ventilatory responses to both hypoxia and hypercapnia, but little is known about cerebrovascular responses. Both at sea level and after 2 days at high altitude (3375 m), 16 young preterm-born (gestational age, 29 ± 1 weeks) and 15 age-matched term-born (40 ± 0 weeks) adults were exposed to two consecutive 4 min bouts of hyperoxic hypercapnic conditions (3% CO <sub>2</sub> -97% O <sub>2</sub> ; 6% CO <sub>2</sub> -94% O <sub>2</sub> ), followed by two periods of voluntary hyperventilation-induced hypocapnia. We measured middle cerebral artery blood velocity, end-tidal CO <sub>2</sub> , pulmonary ventilation, beat-by-beat mean arterial pressure and arterialized capillary blood gases. Baseline middle cerebral artery blood velocity increased at high altitude compared with sea level in term-born (+24 ± 39%, P = 0.036), but not in preterm-born (-4 ± 27%, P = 0.278) adults. The end-tidal CO <sub>2</sub> , pulmonary ventilation and mean arterial pressure were similar between groups at sea level and high altitude. Hypocapnic cerebrovascular reactivity was higher at high altitude compared with sea level in term-born adults (+173 ± 326%, P = 0.026) but not in preterm-born adults (-21 ± 107%, P = 0.572). Hypercapnic reactivity was altered at altitude only in preterm-born adults (+125 ± 144%, P < 0.001). Collectively, at high altitude, term-born participants showed higher hypocapnic (P = 0.012) and lower hypercapnic (P = 0.020) CO <sub>2</sub> reactivity compared with their preterm-born peers. In conclusion, exposure to high altitude revealed different cerebrovascular responses in preterm- compared with term-born adults, despite similar ventilatory responses. These findings suggest a blunted cerebrovascular response at high altitude in preterm-born adults, which might predispose these individuals to an increased risk of high-altitude illnesses. KEY POINTS: Cerebral haemodynamics and cerebrovascular reactivity in normoxia are known to be similar between term-born and prematurely born adults. In contrast, acute exposure to high altitude unveiled different cerebrovascular responses to hypoxia, hypercapnia and hypocapnia. In particular, cerebral vasodilatation was impaired in prematurely born adults, leading to an exaggerated cerebral vasoconstriction. Cardiovascular and ventilatory responses to both hypo- and hypercapnia at sea level and at high altitude were similar between control subjects and prematurely born adults. Other mechanisms might therefore underlie the observed blunted cerebral vasodilatory responses in preterm-born adults at high altitude.
altitude, carbon dioxide, cerebral vasoreactivity, hypoxia, premature birth
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