Effects of Changes in Ventilatory Pattern during Altitude Acclimatization

  • Michael C. K. Khoo


The frequent occurrence of periodic breathing (PB) during sleep in sojourners to high altitude has been well documented1–6. PB is thought to be most pronounced during the first few nights at altitude and to diminish over time as the process of acclimatization takes its course4. However, in recent studies conducted at extreme altitudes3, 5, 6, it was found that PB and recurrent apneas persisted even after the subjects tested had been at the altitudes in question for more than 3 weeks. Weil et al.2 reported the common occurrence of “undulating respirations of varying amplitude but without true apnea” in long-term high-altitude residents. Thus, it is probably safe to conclude that there is a tendency for the regularization of breathing pattern with altitude acclimatization, although in some individuals PB is never completely eliminated.


Breathing Pattern Periodic Breathing Tidal Breathing Ventilatory Pattern Pressure Cost 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Reite, M., D. Jackson, R.L. Cahoon and J.V. Weil. Sleep physiology at high altitude. Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol. 32:701–705, 1972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Weil, J.V., M.H. Kryger and C.H. Scoggin. Sleep and breathing at high altitude. In: Sleep Apnea Syndromes, ed. C. Guilleminault and W.C. Dement, New York: Alan R. Liss, 1978, pp. 119–135.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lahiri, S., K. Maret and M.G. Sherpa. Dependence of high altitude sleep apnea on ventilatory sensitivity to hypoxia. Respir. Physiol. 52:281–301, 1983.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    White, D.P., K. Gleeson, C.K. Pickett, A.M. Rannels, A. Cymerman and J.V. Weil. Altitude acclimatization: influence on periodic breathing and chemoresponsiveness during sleep. J. Appl. Physiol. 63:401–412, 1987.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    West, J.B., R.M. Peters Jr., G. Aksnes, K.L. Maret, J.S. Milledge and R.B. Schoene. Nocturnal periodic breathing at altitudes of 6,300 and 8050 m. J. Appl. Physiol. 61:280–287, 1986.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Anholm, J.D., A.C.P. Powles, R. Downey III, CS. Houston, J.R. Sutton, M.H. Bonnet and A. Cymerman. Operation Everest II: Arterial oxygen saturation and sleep at extreme simulated altitude. Am. Rev. Respir. Dis. (in press).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Khoo, M.C.K. A model-based evaluation of the single-breath CO2 ventilatory response test. J. Appl. Physiol. 68:393–399, 1990.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Khoo, M.C.K. The noninvasive estimation of cardiopulmonary parameters. Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston, MA, 1981.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    McGregor, M., and M. Becklake. The relationship of oxygen cost of breathing to respiratory mechanical work and respiratory force. J. Clin. Invest. 40:971–980, 1961.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Cotes, J.E. Ventilatory capacity at altitude and its relation to mask design. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. [Biol.] 143:32–39, 1954.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Milic-Emili, J. Work of breathing. In: The Lung: Scientific Foundations, ed. R.G. Crystal, J.B. West et al., pp.1065–1075, Raven Press, New York, 1991.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael C. K. Khoo
    • 1
  1. 1.Biomedical Engineering Dept.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations