Cardiovascular Effects of Chronic Carbon Monoxide and High-Altitude Exposure

Research Report 27, July 1989

This report describes a study by Dr. McGrath to investigate the effect of chronic exposure of rats to CO at high altitude. Male rats were exposed for 6 weeks to CO ranging from 0 to 500 ppm at simulated altitudes ranging from 3,300 to 18,000 feet. The following weekly measurements were taken throughout the exposure period: weight, hematocrit, hemoglobin, and carboxyhemoglobin concentrations. Arterial pH, partial pressure of CO in the blood (PCO2) and PO2 were measured, as were blood pressure and ECG. After post-exposure sacrifice, the weights of the right and left heart ventricles and other organs were recorded.