Jul 1, 1976

Alkaline shift in lumbar and intracranial CSF in man after 5 days at high altitude

Journal of Applied Physiology
R B WeiskopfV Fencl


In six healthy male volunteers at sea level (PB 747-759 Torr), we measured pH and PCO2 in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and in arterial and jugular bulb blood; from these data we estimated PCO2 (12) and pH for the intracranial portion of CSF. The measurements were repeated after 5 days in a hypobaric chamber (PB 447 Torr). Both lumbar and intracranial CSF were significantly more alkaline at simulated altitude than at sea level. Decrease in [HCO3-] IN lumbar CSF at altitude was similar to that in blood plasma. Both at sea level and at high altitude, PCO2 measured in the lumbar CSF was higher than that estimated for the intracranial CSF. At altitude, hyperoxia, in comparison with breathing room air, resulted in an increase in intracranial PCO2, and a decrease in the estimated pH in intracranial CSF. With hyperoxia at altitude, alveolar ventilation was significantly higher than during sea-level hyperoxia or normoxia, confirming that a degree of acclimatization had occurred. Changes in cerebral arteriovenous differences in CO2, measured in three subjects, suggest that cerebral blood flow may have been elevated after 5 days at altitude.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Cerebral Blood Flow Imaging
Clean Rooms
Cerebrospinal Fluid
Plant bulb
Lumbar Region

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