Changes in Plasma Corticosteroids and Bicarbonate as a Result of Piloting Supersonic Aircraft
SCHOOL OF AVIATION MEDICINE RANDOLPH AFB TX
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While flying high-speed military aircraft, pilots frequently hyperventilate to a degree sufficient to induce marked alkalosis. Psychogenic factors are thought to be responsible for hyperventilation. Comparison was made of pre- and postflight plasma bicarbonate determined titrimetrically and corticosteroid levels Sweats technic for 20 instructor pilots and 47 student pilots flying F-100 aircraft for 50 minutes. No differentiation of students and instructors was possible on the basis of either pre- or postflight values therefore, the data for the two groups were combined. The plasma bicarbonate value following the flight was 1.1 plus or minus .24 milliequivalentsliter mean plus or minus S.E. lower than before the flight. Free 17- hydroxycorticosterone was increased 5.8 plus or minus .70 micrograms100 ml., while conjugated 17-hydroxycorticosterone increased 5.7 plus or minus .75. The free corticosterone-like fraction increased 3.1 plus or minus .34 micrograms100 ml., while the conjugated corticosterone-like fraction increased 3.2 plus or minus .35. Each of these changes was significantly different from zero P less than .001. No satistically significant correlation was found between the fall in bicarbonate and any of the increases in steroid fractions.
- Stress Physiology