The effect of bloodletting on exercise performance in a subject with a high-affinity hemoglobin variant

R. M. Winslow, W. M. Butler, J. A. Kark, H. G. Klein, W. Moo-Penn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We studied two young army recruits with erythrocytosis. One had a variant hemoglobin with high affinity for oxygen (hemoglobin Osler, also known as Fort Gordon and Nancy, β145 Tyr → Asp). The other had normal oxygen affinity and erythrocytosis of undetermined etiology. Both were asymptomatic. We studied exercise capacity on a cycle ergometer before and after hemodilution. In the subject with high oxygen affinity, hemodilution resulted in reduced maximal work and increased heart rate at every work level. In addition, minute ventilation and arterial lactic acid increased, while anaerobic threshold decreased, indicating diminished oxygen supply to tissues. In contrast, the subject with normal oxygen affinity had no significant changes in exercise performance after hemodilution. These results suggest that when blood oxygen affinity is high, loss of efficiency in tissue oxygenation can be expected after phlebotomy or hemodilution. Therefore, it may be useful to measure blood oxygen affinity and exercise performance in polycythemic subjects in whom such procedures are intended to ameliorate symptoms of hyperviscosity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1159-1164
Number of pages6
JournalBlood
Volume62
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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