Initial orthostatic hypotension at high altitude

K.N. Thomas, S.J.E. Lucas, J.D. Cotter, J.-L. Fan, K.C. Peebles, R.A.I. Lucas, K.R. Burgess, R. Basnyat, P.N. Ainslie

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Thomas, Kate N., Keith R. Burgess, Rishi Basnyat, Samuel J.E. Lucas, James D. Cotter, Jui-Lin Fan, Karen C. Peebles, Rebekah A.I. Lucas, Philip N. Ainslie. Initial orthostatic hypotension at high altitude. High Alt. Med. Biol. 11:163-167, 2010.-There are several reports on syncope occurring following standing at high altitude (HA), yet description of the detailed physiological responses to standing at HA are lacking. We examined the hypothesis that appropriate physiological adjustments to upright posture would be compromised at HA (5050m). Ten healthy volunteers stood up rapidly from supine rest, for 3min, at sea level and at 5050m. Beat-to-beat mean arterial blood pressure (MAP, Finometer), middle cerebral artery blood velocity (MCAv, Transcranial Doppler), end-tidal PCO2and PO2, and heart rate (ECG) were recorded continuously. After 14 days at HA, baseline MAP and MCAv were not different to sea level, although HR was elevated. Neither the magnitude of initial (0.05). By 3min of standing, MAP was restored to supine values both at sea level (-3±12mmHg) and HA (4±10mmHg), although there was more complete recovery of HR at sea level (+13±10b/min, p=0.02 vs.+23±10b/min, p=0.01). Reduced MCAv at 3min was comparable at sea level and altitude (both-16%). These data indicate that initial cardiovascular and cerebrovascular responses to standing are unaltered when partially acclimatized to HA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-167
Number of pages5
JournalHigh Altitude Medicine and Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010


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