High Altitude pp 203-216 | Cite as

Blood and Haemostasis

  • Peter Bärtsch
  • Jim S. Milledge


This chapter deals with oxygen-carrying capacity of blood and haemostasis. It focuses on the effects of intermittent exposure to hypoxia on red blood cell mass, particularly in the various settings used by athletes. Furthermore, mechanisms of neocytolysis occurring on descent from high altitude are discussed, as well as mechanisms accounting for a rapid decline of erythropoietin serum levels during persistent hypoxia, whilst increased erythropoiesis is maintained. Different strategies of adaptation to chronic hypoxia with regard to haemoglobin and oxygenation of the Andean, Ethiopian and Tibetan populations are discussed in the light of recent findings of genetic mutations in these populations. The review on haemostasis includes studies on platelets, blood coagulation and fibrinolysis in acute and chronic exposure to hypoxia and the discussion of potential mechanisms of activation of blood coagulation at altitudes above 4,000 m.


Intermittent Hypoxia Hypobaric Hypoxia Fibrin Formation Hepcidin Level Normobaric Hypoxia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Internal MedicineMedical University Clinic, University of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Center for Altitude, Space and Extreme Environment Medicine UCLUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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