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Interlude G

Cyclists' Blood Doping Associated with Cerebral Blood Clots
Neurology, 26 Feb. 2002

A recent case study has associated cerebral sinus thrombosis, a condition that may lead to tissue death in the brain, with the practice of "blood doping." Blood doping is the use of human growth hormones to increase the proportion of oxygen-carrying red blood cells in an athlete's blood. Thrombosis is a blood clot within a blood vessel. This method of performance enhancement is widely used because it is not readily detected through urine testing.

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Active Reading Questions

  1. fiogf49gjkf0d
    According to the article, blood doping is on the rise among athletes. Blood doping increases the number of red blood cells in an athlete’s body. The increase in red blood cells would be beneficial to an athlete because
    a) increased red blood cells means more cells are available to transport oxygen to the muscles.
    b) active muscles require more oxygen than muscles at rest.
    c) blood flow to skeletal muscles dramatically increases during exercise.
    d) All of the above.
  2. fiogf49gjkf0d
    Blood doping is difficult to catch because
    a) EPO (erythropoietin), the hormone that increases RBC production, is a naturally occurring hormone in the human body.
    b) athletes may achieve similar results as a result of training at high altitudes.
    c) EPO is not detected in a regular urine test.
    d) All of the above
  3. fiogf49gjkf0d
    Using what you know about the circulatory system, reread the article and suggest some ways you might be able to determine if an athlete has used EPO.
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