Changes in haemorheology in the racing greyhound as related to oxygen delivery

  • D. Neuhaus
  • M. R. Fedde
  • P. Gaehtgens


Arterial blood samples were obtained from six greyhounds during rest, immediately before, and after a 704-m (7/16th mile) race. Measurements were made of various haematological (red cell count, haemoglobin, packed cell volume, white cell count, plasma proteins) and haemorheological variables. Blood and plasma viscosity were determined at high wall shear stresses (67–200 dynes · cm−2, 670–2000 μN · cm−2) in a 20-μm glass capillary device which was designed to take the diameter dependence of blood viscosity (Fahraeus-Lindgvist effect) into account. Compared to values at rest, substantial haemoconcentration occurred before the race, mainly due to splenic discharge of red cells. Additional haemoconcentration was found after the race. The increase of effective blood viscosity caused by elevation of packed cell volume was greater than the increase in O2 binding capacity resulting from the elevated haemoglobin concentration, suggesting that the haemoconcentration observed in the exercising greyhound does not enhance O2 delivery to skeletal muscle. The main physiological effect of red cell discharge from the contracting spleen appeared to be a consequence of the volume rather than the composition of the circulating blood.

Key words

Viscosity Blood rheology O2 delivery Haemoconcentration Exercise Packed cell volume 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brian AJ, Simon TL (1987) The effects of red blood cell infusion on 10-km race time. J Am Med Assoc 257:2761–2765Google Scholar
  2. Buick FJ, Gledhill N, Froese AB, Spriet L, Meyers EC (1980) Effect of induced on aerobic work capacity. J Appl Physiol 48:636–642Google Scholar
  3. Cerretelli P (1976) Oxygen transport on mount Everest: the effects of increased hematocrit on maximal oxygen transport. Adv Exp Med Biol 75:113–119Google Scholar
  4. Chien S (1987) Physiological and pathophysiological significance of hemorheology. In: Chien S, Dormandy J, Ernst E, Matrai A (eds) Clinical hemorheology. Nijhoff, The Hague, pp 125–164Google Scholar
  5. Cokelet GR (1972) The theology of human blood. In: Fung YC, Perrone N, Anliker M (eds) Biomechanics: its foundations and objectives. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N. J., pp 63–103Google Scholar
  6. Damon DH, Duling BR (1985) Evidence that capillary perfusion heterogeneity is not controlled in striated muscle. Am J Physiol 249:H386-H392Google Scholar
  7. Damon DH, Duling BR (1987) Are physiological changes in capillary tube hematocrit related to alterations in capillary perfusion heterogeneity? Int J Microcirc Clin Exp 6:309–319Google Scholar
  8. Dobson GP, Parkhouse WS, Weber JM, Stuttard E, Harman J, Snow DH, Hochachka PW (1988) Metabolic changes in skeletal muscle and blood of greyhounds during 800-m track sprint. Am J Physiol 255:R513-R519Google Scholar
  9. Dueck R, Schroeder JP, Parker HR, Rathbun M, Smolen BA (1982) Carotid artery exteriorization for percutaneous catheterization in sheep and dogs. Am J Vet Res 43:898–901Google Scholar
  10. Ekblom B, Wilson G, Åstrand PO (1976) Central circulation during exercise after venesection and reinfusion of red blood cells. J Appl Physiol 40:379–383Google Scholar
  11. Fahraeus R, Lindqvist TL (1931) The viscosity of the blood in narrow capillary tubes. Am J Physiol 96:562–568Google Scholar
  12. Gaehtgens P, Uekermann U (1973) The apparent viscosity of blood in different vascular compartments of the autoperfused canine foreleg, and its variation with hematocrit. Bibl Anat 11:76–82Google Scholar
  13. Gaehtgens P, Schickendantz S (1975) Rheological properties of maternal and neonatal blood. Bibl Anat 13:107–108Google Scholar
  14. Gaehtgens P, Kreutz F, Albrecht KH (1979) Optimal hematocrit for canine skeletal muscle during rhythmic isotonic exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 41:27–39Google Scholar
  15. Gledhill N (1982) Blood doping and related issues: a brief review. Med Sci Sports Exerc 14:183–189Google Scholar
  16. Grandjean D, Mateo R, Lefol JF, Wolter R (1983) Contrôles alimentaires, physiologiques, et hématologiques chez le greyhound de course en situation. Rec Med Vet 159:735–746Google Scholar
  17. Gueguen-Duchesne M, Durand F, Beillot J, Legoff MC, Dezier JF, Pommereuil M, Genetet B (1989) Effect of maximal physical exercise on hemorheological parameters in top level sportsmen. Clin Hemorheol 9:625–632Google Scholar
  18. Guyton AC, Richardson TQ (1961) Effect of hematocrit on venous return. Circ Res 9:157–164Google Scholar
  19. Haynes RH, Burton AC (1959) Role of the non-Newtonian behavior of blood in hemodynamics. Am J Physiol 197:943–950Google Scholar
  20. Hedrick MS, Duffield DA, Cornell LH (1986) Blood viscosity and optimal hematocrit in a deep-diving mammal, the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris). Can J Zool 64:2081–2085Google Scholar
  21. Hillman SS, Withers PC, Hedrick MS, Kimmel PB (1985) The effects of erythrocytemia on blood viscosity, maximal systemic oxygen transport capacity and maximal rates of oxygen consumption in an amphibian. J Comp Physiol 155:577–581Google Scholar
  22. Klitzman B, Duling BR (1979) Microvascular hematocrit and red cell flow in resting and contracting striated muscle. Am J Physiol 237:H481-H490Google Scholar
  23. Krzywanek H, Schulze A, Wittke G (1973) Der Einfluß von Wettkampfbelastung auf einige Blutparameter bei Trabrennpferden. Int Z Angew Physiol 31:127–139Google Scholar
  24. Levy MN, Share L (1953) The influence of erythrocyte concentration upon the pressure-flow relationships in the dog's hindlimb. Circ Res 1:247–255Google Scholar
  25. Lipowsky HH, Kovalchek S, Zweifach BW (1978) The distribution of blood theological properties in the microvasculature of cat mesentery. Circ Res 43:738–749Google Scholar
  26. Lipowsky HH, Usami S, Chien S (1980) In vivo measurements of “apparent viscosity” and microvessel hematocrit in the mesentery of the cat. Microvasc Res 19:297–319Google Scholar
  27. Martin DG, Ferguson W, Wigutoff S, Gawne T, Schoomaker EB (1985) Blood viscosity responses to maximal exercise in endurance trained and sedentary female subjects. J Appl Physiol 59:348–353Google Scholar
  28. Meßmer K, Sunder-Plassmann L, Klovekorn WP, Holper K (1972) Circulatory significance of hemodilution: rheological changes and limitations. Adv Microcirc 4:1–77Google Scholar
  29. Murray JF, Gold P, Johnson BL Jr (1962) Systemic oxygen transport in induced normovolemic anemia and polycythemia. Am J Physiol 203:720–724Google Scholar
  30. Nold JL, Peterson LJ, Fedde MR (1991) Physiological changes in the running greyhound (canis domesticus): influence of race length. Comp Biochem Physiol 100A:623–627Google Scholar
  31. Reinke W, Johnson PC, Gaethgens P (1986) Effect of shear rate variation on apparent viscosity of human blood in tubes of 29 to 94 μm diameter. Circ Res 59:124–132Google Scholar
  32. Reinke W, Gaehtgens P, Johnson PC (1987) Blood viscosity in small tubes: effect of shear rate, aggregation, and sedimentation. Am J Physiol 253:H540-H547Google Scholar
  33. Rose RJ, Bloomberg MS (1989) Responses to sprint exercise in the greyhound: effects on hematology, serum biochemistry and muscle metabolites. Res Vet Sci 47:212–218Google Scholar
  34. Saltin B, Grover RS, Blomqvist CG, Hartley LH, Johnson RL Jr (1968) Maximal oxygen uptake and cardiac output after 2 weeks at 4300 m. J Appl Physiol 25:400–409Google Scholar
  35. Sarelius I (1989) Microcirculation in striated muscle after acute reduction in systemic hematocrit. Resp Physiol 78:7–17Google Scholar
  36. Sarnquist FH, Schoene RB, Hackett PH, Townes BD (1986) Hemodilution of polycythemic mountaineers: Effects on exercise and mental function. Aviat Space Environ Med 57:313–317Google Scholar
  37. Schmid-Schonbein H, Wells RE (1971) Rheological properties of human erythrocytes and their influence upon the “anomalous” viscosity of blood. Ergebn Physiol 63:146–219Google Scholar
  38. Schumacker PT, Guth B, Suggett AJ, Wagner PD, West JB (1985) Effects of transfusion-induced polycythemia on O2 transport during exercise in the dog. J Appl Physiol 58:749–758Google Scholar
  39. Snyder GK (1973) Erythrocyte evolution: the significance of the Fahraeus-Lindgvist phenomenon. Respir Physiol 19:271–278Google Scholar
  40. Staaden R (1984) The exercise physiology of the racing greyhound. PhD Thesis, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  41. Stone HO, Thompson HK Jr, Schmidt-Nielsen K (1968) Influence of erythrocytes on blood viscosity. Am J Physiol 214:913–918Google Scholar
  42. Thomson JM, Stone A, Ginsburg AD, Hamilton P (1982) O2 transport during exercise following blood reinfusion. J Appl Physiol 53:1213–1219Google Scholar
  43. Toll PW, Pieschl RL Jr, Gaehtgens P, Neuhaus D, Fedde MR (1990) Fluid, electrolyte, and RBC shifts in the racing greyhound. Physiologist 33:A-67 (Abstr)Google Scholar
  44. Whittaker SRF, Winton FR (1933) The apparent viscosity of blood flowing in the isolated hindlimb of the dog and its variation with corpuscular concentration. J Physiol (Lond) 78:339–369Google Scholar
  45. Williams MH, Wesseldine S, Somma T, Schuster R (1981) The effect of induced erythrocythemia upon 5-mile treadmill run time. Med Sci Sports Exerc 13:169–175Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Neuhaus
    • 1
  • M. R. Fedde
    • 2
  • P. Gaehtgens
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für PhysiologieFreie Universität BerlinBerlin 33Germany
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary MedicineKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

Personalised recommendations