Integrated ventilatory responses to changes in activity and the environment illustrate many important interactions between elements of the respiratory control system. Such interactions are typical in patients, and the physician needs to understand them to make an intelligent diagnosis and provide appropriate treatments. The most common stimulus to increase ventilation in healthy subjects is exercise. Relatively common problems in control of ventilation during sleep are described in the Clinical Note on sleep apnea. The next sections compare and contrast the integrative response to chronic hypoxemia in normal subjects during acclimatization to high altitude and patients with lung disease.
Acclimatization to High Altitude
Questions about how the body responds to decreased O2 supply at high altitude have fascinated respiratory
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