Ventilatory, circulatory, endocrine, and renal effects of almitrine infusion in man: a contribution to high altitude physiology

  • E. A. Koller
  • M. Schopen
  • M. Keller
  • R. E. Lang
  • M. B. Vallotton


Diuresis at altitude was thought to be the result of chemoreceptor stimulation leading to a reduction of cardiac volume overload. This hypothesis was tested in ten young, healthy subjects by infusion of almitrine (0.5 mg · kg−1 body mass within 30 min) assuming analogous sites of action, i.e. arterial chemoreceptors and pulmonary vessels, for almitrine as for hypoxic hypoxia. The results show that almitrine increases ventilation, heart rate, systolic blood pressure, central venous pressure and natriuresis, but fails to increase significantly atrial natriuretic peptide plasma concentration and diuresis. It is concluded: (1) that almitrine has similar sites of action as hypoxic hypoxia at about 5000 m, (2) that natriuresis during arterial chemoreceptor stimulation might reduce cardiac volume overload, (3) that the volume excretion hypothesis, in particular the pathways from the cardiac volume overload to the water diuresis, need, for an understanding of the hypoxia-induced diuresis, further direct investigations at altitude.

Key words

Almitrine Altitude Atrial natriuretic peptide Arginine vasopressin Diuresis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. A. Koller
    • 1
  • M. Schopen
  • M. Keller
    • 1
  • R. E. Lang
    • 2
  • M. B. Vallotton
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of HeidelbergFederal Republic of Germany
  3. 3.Division of EndocrinologyUniversity HospitalGenevaSwitzerland

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