Physiol. Res. 49: 729-731, 2000


Cardiovascular Changes During Sudden Ascent in a Cable Cabin to the Moderate Altitude


Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Šafárik University and 1Department of Internal Medicine, Military Aviation Hospital, Košice, Slovak Republic

Received June 18, 1999
Accepted February 21, 2000

Our aim was to test the hypothesis that the occurrence of extrasystoles in higher decennia is proportional to the altitude. The occurrence of supraventricular (SVPB) and ventricular (VEB) extrasystoles, values of systolic and diastolic blood pressure and the heart rate were studied in 20 healthy elderly men (50-64 years) during cable cabin transportation to a moderate altitude. These values were measured in stations located at 898 m, 1764 m, and 2632 m above sea level during the transportation in both directions. Our records show that the values of blood pressure and heart rate were within normal limits during the whole period of transportation. Both SVPB and VEB were increasing during the ascent and decreasing to the initial values during the descent compared to the values at altitude of 898 m. The highest values (6 to 7-times exceeding the initial ones) were measured at the summit. The results have demonstrated that the occurrence of SVPB and VEB is proportional to the altitude. The increased incidence in the number of extrasystoles is suggested to be mediated by beta-adrenoceptors.

Key words
Electrocardiography · Holter monitoring · Arrhythmias · Blood pressure · Altitude hypoxia

Reprint requests
Dr. Š. Kujaník, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Šafárik University, Tr. SNP. 1, Košice, Slovak Republic.

© 2000 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences