Voluntary hyperventilation for 20 mm causes haemoconcentration and an increase of white blood cell and thrombocyte numbers. In this study, we investigated whether these changes depend on the changes of blood gases or on the muscle work of breathing. A group of 12 healthy medical students breathed 36 l· min−1 of air, or air with 5% CO2 for a period of 20 min. The partial pressure of CO2 decreased by 21.4 mmHg (2.85 kPa;P < 0.001) with air and by 4.1 mmHg (0.55 kPa;P < 0.005) with CO2 enriched air. This was accompanied by haemoconcentration of 8.9% with air (P < 0.01) and of 1.6% with CO2 enriched air (P < 0.05), an increase in the lymphocyte count of 42% with air (P < 0.001) and no change with CO2 enriched air, and an increase of the platelet number of 8.4% with air (P < 0.01) and no change with CO2 enriched air. The number of neutrophil granulocytes did not change during the experiments, but 75 min after deep breathing of air, band-formed neutrophils had increased by 82% (P < 0.025), whereas they were unchanged 75 min after the experiment with CO2 enriched air. Adrenaline and noradrenaline increased by 360% and 151% during the experiment with air, but remained unchanged with CO2 enriched air. It was concluded that the changes in the white blood cell and platelet counts and of the plasma catecholamine concentrations during and after voluntary hyperventilation for 20 min were consequences of marked hypocapnic alkalosis. It was found that minimal changes of the blood gases, the muscle work of breathing, the chest movements or mechanical influences on the spleen did not contribute to hyperventilation-induced changes of these variables.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Athens JW, Raab SO, Haab OP, Mauer AM, Ashenbrucker H, Cartwright GE, Wintrobe MM (1961) Leukokinetic studies III. The distribution of granulocytes in the blood of normal subjects. J Clin Invest 40:159–164
Bainbridge FA, Trevan JW (1917–1918) Some actions of adrenalin upon the liver. J Physiol 51:460–468
Bierman HR, Kelly KH, Cordes FL, Byron RL, Polhemus JA, Rapoport S (1952) The release of leukocytes and platelets from the pulmonary circulation by epinephrine. Blood 7:683–692
Burnum JF, Hickam JB, McIntosh HD (1954) The effect of Hypocapnia on arterial blood pressure. Circulation 9:89–95
Clark GA (1928) A comparison of the effects of adrenaline and pituitrin on the portal circulation. J Physiol 66:274–280
Da Prada M, Zürcher C (1976) Simultaneous radioenzymatic determination of plasma and tissue adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine within the femtomale range. Life Sci 19:1161–1174
Engeset A, Sokolowski J, Olszewski WL (1977) Variation in output of leukocytes and erythrocytes in human peripheral lymph during rest and activity. Lymphology 10:198–203
Freedman M, Altszuler N, Karpatkin S (1977) Presence of a nonsplenic platelet pool. Blood 50:419–425
Harlan JM (1985) Leukocyte-endothelial interactions. Blood 65:513–525
Kaltreider N, Meneely GR, Allen JR (1942) The effect of epinephrine on the volume of the blood. J Clin Invest 21:339–345
Kontos HA, Richardson DW, Raper AJ, Ul-Hassan Z, Patterson JL (1972) Mechanisms of action of hypocapnic alkalosis on limb blood vessels in man and dog. Am J Physiol 223:1296–1307
McLaughlin AR (1928) The role of the liver in controlling the distribution of blood. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 34:147–168
Mooney NA, Cooke ED, Bowcock SA, Hunt SA, Timmons BH (1986) Hyperventilation is associated with a redistribution of peripheral blood lymphocytes. Biol Psychiatry 21:1324–1326
Richardson DW, Wasserman AJ, Patterson JL (1961) General and regional circulatory responses to change in blood pH and carbon dioxide tension. J Clin Invest 40:31–43
Richardson PD, Withrington PG (1977) The effects of intraportal injections of noradrenaline, adrenaline vasopressin and angiotensin on the hepatic portal vascular bed of the dog: marked tachyphylaxis to angiotension. Br J Pharmacol 59:293–301
Rose JC, Freis ED (1957) Alterations in systemic vascular volume of the dog in response to hexamethonium and norepinephrine. Am J Physiol 191:283–286
Schaffner A, Augustini N, Otto RC, Fehr J (1985) The hypersplenic spleen. Arch Intern Med 145:651–654
Stäubli M, Stäuble UP, Waber U, Straub PW (1985) Hyperventilation-induced changes of the blood picture. J Appl Physiol 58:1170–1175
Stäubli M, Rohner F, Kammer P, Ziegler W, Straub PW (1986) Plasma volume and proteins in voluntary hyperventilation. J Appl Physiol 60:1549–1553
Stäubli M, Bigger K, Kammer P, Rohner F, Straub PW (1988) Mechanisms of the haematological changes induced by hyperventilation. Eur J Appl Physiol 58:233–238
Steel CM, French EB, Aitchison WRC (1971) Studies on adrenaline-induced leucocytosis in normal man. Br J Haematol 21:413–421
Straub PW, Bühlmann AA (1970) Reduction of blood volume by voluntary hyperventilation. J Appl Physiol 29:816–817
Veijlens G (1938) The distribution of leucocytes in the vascular system. Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand [Suppl] 33:1–239
Wright CS, Doan CA, Bouroncle BA, Zollinger RM (1951) Direct splenic arterial and venous blood studies in the hypersplenic syndromes before and after epinephrine. Blood 6:195–217
About this article
Cite this article
Stäubli, M., Vogel, F., Bärtsch, P. et al. Hyperventilation-induced changes of blood cell counts depend on hypocapnia. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 69, 402–407 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00865403
- White blood cells