The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
We evaluated autonomic cardiovascular regulation in subjects with polycythemia and chronic mountain sickness (CMS) and tested the hypothesis that an increase in arterial oxygen saturation has a beneficial effect on arterial baroreflex sensitivity in these subjects. Ten Andean natives with a Hct >65% and 10 natives with a Hct <60%, all living permanently at an altitude of 4,300 m, were included in the study. Cardiovascular autonomic regulation was evaluated by spectral analysis of hemodynamic parameters, while subjects breathed spontaneously or frequency controlled at 0.1 and 0.25 Hz, respectively. The recordings were repeated after a 1-h administration of supplemental oxygen and after frequency-controlled breathing at 6 breaths/min for 1 h, respectively. Subjects with Hct >65% showed an increased incidence of CMS compared with subjects with Hct <60%. Spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity was significantly lower in subjects with high Hct compared with the control group. The effects of supplemental oxygen or modification of the breathing pattern on autonomic function were as follows: 1) heart rate decreased significantly after both maneuvers in both groups, and 2) spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity increased significantly in subjects with high Hct and did not differ from subjects with low Hct. Temporary slow-frequency breathing may provide a beneficial effect on the autonomic cardiovascular function in high-altitude natives with CMS.
Polycythemia vera is a myeloproliferative disorder characterized by increased red cell mass and frequently complicated by venous and arterial thrombosis. The mechanism underlying the increased incidence of thrombotic events remains illusive. Presented in this report are a case of a 77-year-old man diagnosed with polycythemia vera and a review of the current literature on the mechanisms underlying the increased incidence of thrombotic events in polycythemia vera.
BACKGROUND - Studies of space-flight anemia have uncovered a physiologic process, neocytolysis, by which young red blood cells are selectively hemolyzed, allowing rapid adaptation when red cell mass is excessive for a new environment.
OBJECTIVES - 1) To confirm that neocytolysis occurs in another situation of acute plethora-when high-altitude dwellers with polycythemia descend to sea level; and 2) to clarify the role of erythropoietin suppression.
DESIGN - Prospective observational and interventional study.
SETTING - Cerro de Pasco (4380 m) and Lima (sea level), Peru.
PARTICIPANTS - Nine volunteers with polycythemia.
INTERVENTIONS - Volunteers were transported to sea level; three received low-dose erythropoietin.
MEASUREMENTS - Changes in red cell mass, hematocrit, hemoglobin concentration, reticulocyte count, ferritin level, serum erythropoietin, and enrichment of administered(13)C in heme.
RESULTS - In six participants, red cell mass decreased by 7% to 10% within a few days of descent; this decrease was mirrored by a rapid increase in serum ferritin level. Reticulocyte production did not decrease, a finding that establishes a hemolytic mechanism.(13)C changes in circulating heme were consistent with hemolysis of young cells. Erythropoietin was suppressed, and administration of exogenous erythropoietin prevented the changes in red cell mass, serum ferritin level, and(13)C-heme.
CONCLUSIONS - Neocytolysis and the role of erythropoietin are confirmed in persons with polycythemia who descend from high altitude. This may have implications that extend beyond space and altitude medicine to renal disease and other situations of erythropoietin suppression, hemolysis, and polycythemia.
There have been a number of reports describing the hematological indicators of Andean residents living at altitudes above 4,000 m, but several confounding factors have made the published results difficult to interpret. To clear up the effect of hypoxia on hemoglobin concentration (Hb, g/dL), hematocrit (Hct, %) and red blood cell concentration (RBC, cells/microL), this publication describes and analyzes these variables in children, men, and women from three large and homogeneous populations living at 4,355 m (n = 151), 4,660 m (n = 400), and 5,500 m (n = 273) in the Southern Peruvian Andes. Hb, Hct, and RBC increase with age in men (p < 0.001), as well as in women (p < 0.001) at the three altitudes of the study. In children (boys and girls) living at 5,500, Hb increases 11% when compared with children living at 4,355 m, and in adults, Hb increases 9.6% when comparing the same altitudes. The maximum percentage increase in Hb with age was 5.6% at 5,500 m, in men and 3.2% at 4,355 m, in women. The average percentage of difference for the Hb concentration between adult men and women is 6.6% at 4,355 m, 9.8% at 4,660 m, and 11.6% at 5,500 m. The differences in Hb concentration between men and women can only be seen after puberty. Finally, Hb is higher in older than younger women, which confirms the role of menopause in the development of erythremia. The result of this analysis reinforces the notion that Hb and Hct seem to be stable and useful parameters for acclimatization only at moderate altitudes; with aging or with increasing altitude, they may become excessive and lose their efficiency to protect the venous oxygen pressure.
von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is a pleomorphic familial tumor syndrome that is characterized by the development of highly vascularized tumors. Homozygous disruption of the VHL gene in mice results in embryonic lethality. To investigate VHL function in the adult we have generated a conditional VHL null allele (2-lox allele) and null allele (1-lox allele) by Cre-mediated recombination in embryonic stem cells. We show here that mice heterozygous for the 1-lox allele develop cavernous hemangiomas of the liver, a rare manifestation of the human disease. Histologically these tumors were associated with hepatocellular steatosis and focal proliferations of small vessels. To study the cellular origin of these lesions we inactivated VHL tissue-specifically in hepatocytes. Deletion of VHL in the liver resulted in severe steatosis, many blood-filled vascular cavities, and foci of increased vascularization within the hepatic parenchyma. These histopathological changes were similar to those seen in livers from mice heterozygous for the 1-lox allele. Hypoxia-inducible mRNAs encoding vascular endothelial growth factor, glucose transporter 1, and erythropoietin were up-regulated. We thus provide evidence that targeted inactivation of mouse VHL can model clinical features of the human disease and underline the importance of the VHL gene product in the regulation of hypoxia-responsive genes in vivo.