Document Detail

Operation Everest III (COMEX '97). Effects of prolonged and progressive hypoxia on humans during a simulated ascent to 8,848 M in a hypobaric chamber.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10635009     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Exposure to high altitude induces physiological or pathological modifications that are not always clearly attributable to a specific environmental factor: hypoxia, cold, stress, inadequate food. The principal goal of hypobaric chamber studies is to determine the specific effect of hypoxia. Eight male volunteers ("altinauts"), aged 23 to 37 were selected. They were first preacclimatized in the Observatoire Vallot (4,350 m) before entering the chamber. The chamber was progressively decompressed down to 253 mmHg barometric pressure, with a recovery period of 3 days at 5,000 m in the middle of the decompression period. They spent a total of 31 days in the chamber. Eighteen protocols were organized by 14 European teams, exploring the limiting factors of physical and psychological performance, and the pathophysiology of acute mountain sickness (AMS). All subjects reached 8,000 m and 7 of them reached the simulated altitude of 8,848 m. Three altinauts complained of transient neurological symptoms which resolved rapidly with reoxygenation. Body weight decreased by 5.4 kg through a negative caloric balance. Only four days after the return to sea-level, subjects had recovered 3.4 kg, i.e. 63% of the total loss. At 8,848 m (n = 5), PaO2 was 30.6 +/- 1.4 mmHg, PCO2 11.9 +/- 1.4 mmHg, pH 7.58 +/- 0.02 (arterialized capillary blood). Hemoglobin concentration increased from 14.8 +/- 1.4 to 18.4 +/- 1.5 g/dl at 8,000 m and recovered within 4 days at sea-level. AMS score increased rapidly at 6,000 m and was maximal at 7,000 m, especially for sleep. AMS was related to alteration in color vision and elevation of body temperature. VO2MAX decreased by 59% at 7,000 m. The purpose of this paper is to give a general description of the study and the time course of the main clinical and physiological parameters. The altinauts reached the "summit" (for some of them three consecutive times) in better physiological conditions than it would have been possible in the mountains, probably because acclimatization and other environmental factors such as cold and nutrition were controlled.
J P Richalet; P Robach; S Jarrot; J C Schneider; N P Mason; E Cauchy; J P Herry; A Bienvenu; B Gardette; C Gortan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Multicenter Study; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Advances in experimental medicine and biology     Volume:  474     ISSN:  0065-2598     ISO Abbreviation:  Adv. Exp. Med. Biol.     Publication Date:  1999  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-02-03     Completed Date:  2000-02-03     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0121103     Medline TA:  Adv Exp Med Biol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  297-317     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Association pour la Recherche en Physiologie de l'Environnement, Laboratoire Réponses cellulaires et fonctionnelles à l'hypoxie (EA 2363), U.F.R. Médecine, Université Paris Nord, Bobigny, France.
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MeSH Terms
Anoxia / physiopathology*
Blood Pressure
Body Weight
Ecological Systems, Closed*
Hemoglobins / metabolism
Monitoring, Physiologic*
Mountaineering / physiology*
Oxygen / blood
Oxygen Consumption
Patient Selection
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Hemoglobins; 7782-44-7/Oxygen

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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