Enhanced flow-motion complexity of skin microvascular perfusion in Sherpas and lowlanders during ascent to high altitude

Carey, D., Thanaj, M., Davies, T., Gilbert-Kawai, E., Mitchell, K., Levett, D.Z.H., Mythen, M.G., Martin, D.S., Grocott, M.P., Chipperfield, A.J. and Clough, G.F. 2019. Enhanced flow-motion complexity of skin microvascular perfusion in Sherpas and lowlanders during ascent to high altitude. Scientific Reports. 9 14391. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-50774-0

TitleEnhanced flow-motion complexity of skin microvascular perfusion in Sherpas and lowlanders during ascent to high altitude
TypeJournal article
AuthorsCarey, D., Thanaj, M., Davies, T., Gilbert-Kawai, E., Mitchell, K., Levett, D.Z.H., Mythen, M.G., Martin, D.S., Grocott, M.P., Chipperfield, A.J. and Clough, G.F.
Abstract

An increased and more effective microvascular perfusion is postulated to play a key role in the physiological adaptation of Sherpa highlanders to the hypobaric hypoxia encountered at high altitude. To investigate this, we used Lempel-Ziv complexity (LZC) analysis to explore the spatiotemporal dynamics of the variability of the skin microvascular blood flux (BF) signals measured at the forearm and finger, in 32 lowlanders (LL) and 46 Sherpa highlanders (SH) during the Xtreme Everest 2 expedition. Measurements were made at baseline (BL) (LL: London 35 m; SH: Kathmandu 1300 m) and at Everest base camp (LL and SH: EBC 5,300 m). We found that BF signal content increased with ascent to EBC in both SH and LL. At both altitudes, LZC of the BF signals was significantly higher in SH, and was related to local slow-wave flow-motion activity over multiple spatial and temporal scales. In SH, BF LZC was also positively associated with LZC of the simultaneously measured tissue oxygenation signals. These data provide robust mechanistic information of microvascular network functionality and flexibility during hypoxic exposure on ascent to high altitude. They demonstrate the importance of a sustained heterogeneity of network perfusion, associated with local vaso-control mechanisms, to effective tissue oxygenation during hypobaric hypoxia.

Article number14391
JournalScientific Reports
Journal citation9
ISSN2045-2322
Year2019
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-50774-0
PubMed ID31591502
Web address (URL)https://europepmc.org/articles/PMC6779732
Publication dates
Published07 Oct 2019

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