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Pattern of respiratory-induced changes in fingertip blood volume measured by light transmission

Author(s): Meir Nitzan | Daniel Dayan | Eran Shalom | Yuval Slovik | Alan Murray

Journal: Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering
ISSN 1937-6871

Volume: 04;
Issue: 08;
Start page: 529;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Light Absorption | Deep Breathing | Sympathetic Nervous system | Tissue Blood Volume

Respiratory-induced fluctuations in heart rate and arterial blood pressure have been intensively investigated, but there is little information on the effect of respiration on peripheral blood volume. In the current study, blood volume changes in the finger, obtained by light transmission measurements, were measured during regular breathing (6 s periods) and long breathing (12 s periods). Respiratory chest-circumference changes were simultaneously measured in order to associate the pattern of tissue blood volume change with the respiratory cycle. Sixteen subjects were studied, and in fourteen finger blood vol ume increased during inspiration and decreased during expiration in the long-breathing periods. In all 14 subjects the start of blood volume decrease was significantly delayed from the start of expiration by mean ± SD 1.00 ± 0.65 s (p < 0.001, range 0 - 2.3 s). The start of blood volume increase was significantly delayed from the end of expiration by 3.45 ± 1.76 s (p < 0.005). In eight, finger blood volume started to increase more than 2 s before the start of inspiration. For the 6 s breathing period, blood volume decreased during inspiration in five examinations, and increased in seven. The increase in peripheral blood volume during inspiration could be attributed to the higher abdominal pressure during inspiration, and to the decrease in sympathetic activity during inspiration and the subsequent vasodilatation. The decrease in peripheral blood volume during inspiration is probably due to the negative thoracic pressure during inspiration and its mechanical effect on thoracic vessels.
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