Background: Exposure to high altitudes determines several adaptive mechanisms affecting in a complex way the whole cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine systems because of the hypobaric hypoxic condition. The aim of our study was to evaluate the circulatory adaptive mechanisms at high altitudes, during a scientific expedition in the Himalayas. Methods: Arterial distensibility was assessed measuring carotid-radial and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity. Tests were carried out at several altitudes, from 1350 to 5050 m above sea level, on 8 lowlander European researchers and 11 highlander Nepalese porters. Results: In Europeans, systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure increased slightly but significantly with altitude (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively). Norepinephrine showed a significant increase after the lowlanders had spent some time at high altitude (p < 0.001). With increasing altitude, a progressive increase in carotid-radial and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity values was observed in lowlanders, showing a particularly significant increase (p < 0.001) after staying at high altitude (carotid-radial pulse wave velocity, median value (interquartile range) from 9.2 (7.9-10.0) to 11.2 (10.9-11.8) m/s and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity from 8.5 (7.9-9.0) to 11.3 (10.9-11.8) m/s). At high altitudes (3400 and 5050 m above sea level), no significant differences were observed between highlanders and lowlanders in hemodynamic parameters (blood pressure, carotid-radial and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity). Conclusions: The progressive arterial stiffening with altitude observed in European lowlanders could explain the increase in systolic and pulse pressure values observed at high altitudes in this ethnic group. Further studies are needed to evaluate the role of aortic stiffening in the pathogenesis of acute mountain sickness.

Haemodynamic Adaptive Mechanisms at High Altitude: Comparison between European Lowlanders and Nepalese Highlanders

Salvi, Paolo
;
Grillo, Andrea;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background: Exposure to high altitudes determines several adaptive mechanisms affecting in a complex way the whole cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine systems because of the hypobaric hypoxic condition. The aim of our study was to evaluate the circulatory adaptive mechanisms at high altitudes, during a scientific expedition in the Himalayas. Methods: Arterial distensibility was assessed measuring carotid-radial and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity. Tests were carried out at several altitudes, from 1350 to 5050 m above sea level, on 8 lowlander European researchers and 11 highlander Nepalese porters. Results: In Europeans, systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure increased slightly but significantly with altitude (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively). Norepinephrine showed a significant increase after the lowlanders had spent some time at high altitude (p < 0.001). With increasing altitude, a progressive increase in carotid-radial and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity values was observed in lowlanders, showing a particularly significant increase (p < 0.001) after staying at high altitude (carotid-radial pulse wave velocity, median value (interquartile range) from 9.2 (7.9-10.0) to 11.2 (10.9-11.8) m/s and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity from 8.5 (7.9-9.0) to 11.3 (10.9-11.8) m/s). At high altitudes (3400 and 5050 m above sea level), no significant differences were observed between highlanders and lowlanders in hemodynamic parameters (blood pressure, carotid-radial and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity). Conclusions: The progressive arterial stiffening with altitude observed in European lowlanders could explain the increase in systolic and pulse pressure values observed at high altitudes in this ethnic group. Further studies are needed to evaluate the role of aortic stiffening in the pathogenesis of acute mountain sickness.
Pubblicato
https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/11/13/3843
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9267920/
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3038041
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