Short-Term Hematological Effects Upon Completion of a Four-Week Simulated Altitude Camp

Torben Pottgiesser, Laura Garvican, David Martin, Jesse Featonby, Christopher Gore, Yorck Schumacher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    17 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Hemoglobin mass (tHb) is considered to be a main factor for sea-level performance after "live high-train low" (LHTL) altitude training, but little research has focused on the persistence of tHb following cessation of altitude exposure. The aim of the case study was to investigate short-term effects of various hematological measures including tHb upon completion of a simulated altitude camp. Five female cyclists spent 26 nights at simulated altitude (LHTL, 16.6 ± 0.4 h/d, 3000 m in an altitude house) where tHb was measured at baseline, at cessation of the camp, and 9 d thereafter. Venous blood measures (hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, %reticulocytes, serum erythropoietin, ferritin, lactate dehydrogenase, and haptoglobin) were determined at baseline; on day 21 during LHTL; and at days 2, 5, and 9 after LHTL. Hemoglobin mass increased by 5.5% (90% confidence limits [CL] 2.5 to 8.5%, very likely) after the LHTL training camp. At day 9 after simulated LHTL, tHb decreased by 3.0% (90%CL -5.1 to -1.0%, likely). There was a substantial decrease in serum EPO (-34%, 90%CL -50 to -12%) at 2 d after return to sea level and a rise in ferritin (23%, 90%CL 3 to 46%) coupled with a decrease in %reticulocytes (-23%, 90%CL -34 to -9%) between day 5 and 9 after LHTL. Our findings show that following a hypoxic intervention with a beneficial tHb outcome, there may be a high probability of a rapid tHb decrease upon return to normoxic conditions. This highlights a rapid component in red-cell control and may have implications for the appropriate timing of altitude training in relation to competition.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)79-83
    Number of pages5
    JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
    Volume7
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • Erythropoiesis
    • Erythropoietin
    • Hemoglobin
    • Hypoxia

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