Acute decompression is associated with a shortening of the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT). This study was performed to examine whether this change in aPTT results from hypoxia or hypobaria. We exposed healthy adults on three separate occasions to 2 h of 1) hypoxic hypobaria (410 Torr, n = 5), 2) hypoxic normobaria (fractional inspired O2 tension = 0.11, n = 4), or 3) normoxic hypobaria (410 Torr breathing supplemental O2, n = 5). The aPTT shortened during hypoxic hypobaria and hypoxic normobaria (P less than 0.05) but was unchanged during normoxic hypobaria. The prothrombin and thrombin times, hematocrit, and concentrations of fibrinogen, total plasma protein, and fibrinogen-fibrin fragment E were unchanged. During hypoxic hypobaria biologic levels of prekallikrein, high-molecular-weight kininogen, and factors XII, XI, X, VII, V, and II were unchanged, but procoagulant VIII (VIII:C) increased 50% without an increase in VIII-related antigen levels (VIIIR:Ag). Fibrin monomer was not detected in any group. In one subject who became ill after 1.5 h of hypoxic normobaria aPTT shortened by 10 s; the platelet count decreased by 93,000/mm3; VIII:C increased fivefold, but VIIIR:Ag only increased three-fold. We conclude that it is the hypoxia which shortens aPTT during acute decompression to 410 Torr and speculate that it results from an increase in plasma VIII:C-like activity.
View details for Web of Science ID A1984SH56300017
View details for PubMedID 6423590