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Scientific articles (click on titles to see full articles)
An almost complete list of our scientific publications, easily accesible at Researchgate. Just click on this link and you will have many original publications that have been published in many distinguished journals all around the globe. There you will see the work of Gustavo Zubieta-Castillo (Sr) and Gustavo Zubieta-Calleja (Jr) throughout over 50 years of work. All of them related to high altitude research as members of the High Altitude Pulmonary and Pathology Institute in La Paz, Bolivia.
When is there true adaptation to hypoxia on arrival to high altitude? This paper explains new concepts of the three phases of adaptation: Acute, first 2 to 3 days (where AMS, HAPE and HACE can occur), Sub-acute (where intense exercise can bring Sub-acute heart disease) and Chronic where the hematocrit finally reaches the normal level for the specific altitude (where if there is lung or heart disease CMS can ensue). A high altitude hematological adaptation formula is described.
The fundamental paper by Prof. Dr. Gustavo Zubieta-Castillo where he states that man is prepared to tolerate the hypoxic levels of the summit of Mt. Everest and carry out a normal life.
Chronic Mountain Sickness is a condition in which the hematocrit is increased above the normal level in residents at high altitude.... CMS is once again shown to be an adaptation of the blood oxygen transport system to a deficient organs' function due to diverse disease processes; the adaptation aimed at sustaining normoxia at the cellular level in the hypoxic environment at high altitude
A review of the history and development of the Acid-Base status of blood with novell high altitude correction charts.
One can infer that hypoventilation at rest is an energy saving mechanism of the pneumo-dynamic and the hemo-dynamic pumps.....
Pulse oximetry during breath-holding in normal residents at high altiude shows a typical pattern.....
New concepts on Chronic Mountain Sickness as Published in ACTA ANDINA Vol Vol 1, 1996
The following excerpts are from the E-mail discussion of the committee on chronic mountain sickness, prior to The 3rd World Congress on Mountain Medicine and High Altitude Physiology and The 18th Japanese Symposium on Mountain Medicine carried out in Matsumoto, Japan (May 20th - 24th, 1998).
Increased polycythemia: An Ally or foe in the conquest of Mt. Everest. Bernardo Guarachi, the first Bolivian to ascend Mt. Everest had polycythemia and this possed many questions analyzed in this article that was published in the International Society for Mountain Medicine Newsletter
The triple hypoxia syndrome is the addition of three hypoxias: 1) First hypoxia: high altitude, 2) Second hypoxia: CMS or lund disease hypoxia and 3) Third hypoxa: Acute superimposed lund disease such as the flu or pneumonia. Article
A glass chamber with a plastic covered wooden floor (2.75 m long, 1.45 m wide and 2.0 m high) was constructed in our laboratory in June 1992 (3510 m; barometric pressure = 494 mmHg), in which subjects can be comfortable for many hours while breathing different oxygen mixtures simulating different altitudes within the range of the earth's atmosphere
HAPE patients frequently have ulcers on the tongue.The tongue appears white with one or more reddish colored ulcers that have rough irregular borders. It is non painful, and without bleeding.
Due to the bowl shaped topography of La Paz, the residents of the city are constantly changing altitude from around 3100 meters in a common residential area to around 4100 m at El Alto, an upper city industrial and airport area.
increased polycythemia in CMS, affect more men than women and the severity is in relation to age, magnitude of the pulmonary lesions and particularly to altitude, in such a way that a moderate increased polycythemia will be more severe or grave at higher altitude, exponentially as barometric pressure decreases
With the advent of pulse oximetry, oxygen saturation measurements have been simplified. However, at high altitude, large fluctuations from breath to breath have been observed.
Acute high altitude hypoventilation that resulted in hyperventilation following hyperoxic tests.some people with acute mountain sickness, have low ventilation (hypoventilate), and hence low partial oxygen tension in the arterial blood (PaO2), on arrival to 3600 m. Here we present two cases that have some variation of symptoms but have in common hypoventilation and in which we performed basic pulmonary testing including hyperoxia.
One concept of providing treatment for CMS patients is to permanently destroy their RBCs. However, the effect of phenylhydrazine usage is toxic for the bone marrow, the liver and other tissues, changing the color of the skin from cyanotic to yellow, with jaundice.
In association between the High Altitude Pathology Institute and the Club Andino Boliviano, we have built a green reflective glass and a red iron structure pyramid in Chacaltaya at 5200 m.
MEASUREMENT OF CIRCULATORY TIME USING PULSE OXIMETRY DURING BREATH HOLDING IN CHRONIC HYPOXIA. & BREATH HOLDING AND PULSE OXIMETRY AS A DIAGNOSTIC TOOL AT HIGH ALTITUDE
Other publications
Relativity applied to hyperventilation at high altitude It is well known that the shortfall of PIO2 due to an ascent to high altitude is compensated by hyperventilation that brings about hypocapnia and respiratory alkalosis. If a subject hyperventilates on ascent to high altitude why is the PaO2 low?
Bolivia and particularly La Paz, has been shocked these days by a determination of the South American Football Confederation, who by suggestion of the International Association of Football (FIFA), has decided that the World Cup Football playoffs cannot be carried out on Stadiums above 3000 m. of altitude, specifically in the city of La Paz.
This photo is back in 1998
A specialist in High Altitude Medicine & Physiology as well as Internal Medicine, Dr. Zubieta is the President of the High Altitude Pathology Institute, in La Paz. A graduate of the Universidad Mayor de San Andres School of Medicine in Bolivia, Dr. Zubieta received additional training at the National Institutes of Health in the USA.
National Geographic Mazagine (April 1987)


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