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Scientists climb Mt. Everest to explain how hearts adapt and recover from low oxygen
Date:1/31/2011

roblems, but the heart scans revealed fuel levels and changes in heart function consistent with what is seen in heart failure patients. All study protocols were repeated within 48 hours post-trek and again six months later. All of the changes returned to baseline values six months after the climb, suggesting that cardiac changes due to hypoxia are extensive but reversible. This also suggests that heart problems experienced by seriously ill patients may be reversible once oxygen levels in the bloodstream are returned to normal.

"Changes in human physiology under extreme conditions that return to normal after re-adjustment have been seen in other environments. For instance, in U.S. Space Shuttle astronauts VO2 peak and peak power input changes after exposure to microgravity return to normal within weeks after reconditioning in normal gravity," said Millie Hughes-Fulford, Ph.D., NASA Science Astronaut; Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, UCSF; Director, Laboratory of Cell Growth, VAMC/UCSF; and editorial board member of the FASEB Journal. "The finding of changes in cardiac function after a Mt. Everest trek within months, suggests that decreased PCr/ATP in patients caused by sustained hypoxia may reverse once oxygen levels return to normal."


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Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
cmooneyhan@faseb.org
301-634-7104
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

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