High-Altitude Research and Its Practical Clinical Application

  • Gustavo Zubieta-CastilloSr.
  • Gustavo Zubieta-CallejaJr.


Upon arriving above 2,500 m, the organism compensates the diminished inspired oxygen partial pressure by increasing ventilation and cardiac output. The pneumodynamic pump moves more rarefied air into the alveoli through an increase of the respiratory frequency and the tidal volume. Likewise, the hemodynamic pump increases both the cardiac frequency and the stroke volume, as if exercise were performed at sea level. The two pumps, one for air and the other for blood, carry out the essential role of supplying sufficient oxygen to the tissues and increasing the energy consumption until the red blood cells take over. The acid–base status, adequately interpreted at high altitude through the titratable hydrogen ion difference, along with the adaptation formula and multiple cellular changes, gives rise to adaptation. The tolerance to hypoxia formula reflects and explains the paradoxical concept that resistance to hypoxia grows as one goes higher. The possibility that man can adapt to live in the hypoxic environment of the summit of Mt. Everest is exposed. Furthermore, the knowledge of life at high altitude is proposed as an alternative to the environment of space travel. Herein, we describe our 43 years of experience and discoveries with fundamental concepts that change the way disease is treated in the hypoxic environment of high altitude.


High Altitude Acute Mountain Sickness Chronic Mountain Sickness Oxygen Dissociation Curve Extreme Altitude 
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Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gustavo Zubieta-CastilloSr.
    • 1
  • Gustavo Zubieta-CallejaJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.High Altitude Pulmonary and Pathology Institute (IPPA)La PazBolivia

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