European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 119, Issue 7, pp 1547–1556 | Cite as

Cold-induced vasodilation responses before and after exercise in normobaric normoxia and hypoxia

  • Hayden D. Gerhart
  • Yongsuk SeoEmail author
  • Jeremiah Vaughan
  • Brittany Followay
  • Jacob E. Barkley
  • Tyler Quinn
  • Jung-Hyun Kim
  • Ellen L. Glickman
Original Article



Cold-induced vasodilation (CIVD) is known to protect humans against local cold injuries and improve manual dexterity. The current study examined the effects of metabolic heat production on cold-induced vasodilation responses in normobaric hypoxia and normoxia.


Ten participants immersed their non-dominant hand into 5 °C water for 15 min. Minimum finger temperature (Tmin), maximum finger temperature (Tmax), onset time, amplitude, and peak time were measured before and after exercise under normoxia (21% O2) and two levels of normobaric hypoxia (17% O2 and 13% O2).


Neither Tmin nor amplitude was affected by hypoxia. However, Tmax was significantly decreased by hypoxia while reduction in onset time and peak time trended towards significance. Tmin, Tmax, and amplitude were significantly higher during post-exercise CIVD than pre-exercise CIVD.


The CIVD response may be negatively affected by the introduction of hypoxia whereas metabolic heat production via exercise may counteract adverse effects of hypoxia and improve CIVD responses.


Cold-induced vasodilation Normobaric hypoxia Exercise Body temperature 



Blood pressure


Cold-induced vasodilation


Heart rate


Metabolic heat production


13% O2


17% O2


21% O2


Peripheral oxygen saturation


Mean body temperature


Maximum finger temperature


Minimum finger temperature


Rectal temperature


Skin temperature


Oxygen uptake


Maximal oxygen uptake


Author contributions

HG assisted in study design, data collection, and manuscript authorship; YS assisted in study design and manuscript authorship; JV assisted in data collection and manuscript authorship; BF assisted in data collection and manuscript authorship; JB assisted in study design and data analysis; JK assisted in study design and manuscript authorship; TQ assisted in manuscript authorship; EG assisted in data collection and manuscript authorship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hayden D. Gerhart
    • 1
  • Yongsuk Seo
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Jeremiah Vaughan
    • 4
  • Brittany Followay
    • 5
  • Jacob E. Barkley
    • 3
  • Tyler Quinn
    • 2
  • Jung-Hyun Kim
    • 6
  • Ellen L. Glickman
    • 3
  1. 1.Kinesiology, Health, and Sport ScienceIndiana University of PennsylvaniaIndianaUSA
  2. 2.Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (CDC/NIOSH/NPPTL)PittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Environmental Physiology LaboratoryKent State UniversityKentUSA
  4. 4.Human Performance, Sport and Health DepartmentBemidji State UniversityBemidjiUSA
  5. 5.Department of Exercise ScienceRipon CollegeRiponUSA
  6. 6.Department of Sports MedicineKyung Hee UniversityYonginSouth Korea

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