Red blood cell concentration influences the pulmonary vasculature via direct frictional force and vasoactive signaling, but whether the magnitude of the response is modified with duration of exposure is not known. By assessing the pulmonary vascular response to hemodilution in acute normobaric and prolonged hypobaric hypoxia in lowlanders and lifelong hypobaric hypoxemia in Andean natives, we demonstrated that a reduction in red cell concentration augments the vasoconstrictive effects of hypoxia in lowlanders. In high-altitude natives, hemodilution lowered pulmonary vascular resistance, but a compensatory increase in cardiac output following hemodilution rendered PASP unchanged.
- hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction
- pulmonary pressure