Nail fold capillary diameter changes in acute systemic hypoxia

Arturs Paparde, Ketija Niringa-Martinsone, Liga Plakane, Juris Imants Aivars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The present study was undertaken to determine the effect of arterial blood hypoxemia induced by acute systemic hypoxia (pO2=12%) on capillary recruitment and diameter, and red blood cell (RBC) velocity in human nail fold capillaries during rest, arterial post-occlusive reactive hyperemia (PRH), and venous occlusion (VO) using intravital video-capillaroscopy. Capillary recruitment was unchanged in acute systemic hypoxia (H) versus normoxia (N). There was no difference in RBC velocity measurements between normoxia and hypoxia (P<0.63). However, a statistically significant increase in nail fold capillary total width (N, 39.9±9.1 vs. H, 42.7±10.3μm; P<0.05), apical diameter (N, 15.5±4.3 vs. H, 16.8±4.3μm; P<0.05), arterial diameter (N, 11.9±3.5 vs. H, 13.9±4.1μm; P<0.05), and venous diameter (N, 15.5±4.3 vs. H, 17.2±4.8μm; P<0.05) was observed and continued to be significant most often during post-occlusive reactive hyperemia (PRH) and venous congestion (VO). These data suggest that acute systemic hypoxia does not increase capillary recruitment, but instead increases capillary diameter, resulting in increased capillary blood flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-33
Number of pages4
JournalMicrovascular Research
Publication statusPublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute systemic hypoxia
  • Capillaroscopy
  • Capillary
  • Capillary diameter
  • Capillary recruitment
  • Hypoxemia
  • Microcirculation
  • Nail fold
  • Post-occlusive reactive hyperemia
  • Venous occlusion

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.3. Anonymously reviewed scientific article published in a journal with an international editorial board and is available in another indexed database


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