The first quantification of neural discharge from the carotid body of cats in response to hypoxia, hypercapnic acidosis, and their combination discovered a strong potentiating effect of hypoxia and hypercapnic acidosis combined as compared to either alone. This paper was the start of a research journey that eventually examined the regulation of blood and cerebrospinal pH by peripheral and central chemoreceptors in the setting of systemic acid–base alterations. This research focus was the result of the author’s personal fascination with mountains and human adaptation to high altitude—an interest that led to his own ascent of Mount Everest in 1963. The inherent uncertainty and challenge involved with climbing high mountains has served as a metaphor and inspiration for his life, including his career in academic medicine.
Submitted for publication March 29, 2022. Accepted for publication April 7, 2022. Published online first on May 10, 2022.
This article is featured in “This Month in Anesthesiology,” page A1.
The work presented in this article has been presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in 1960.
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Thomas F. Hornbein; Savoring Uncertainty. Anesthesiology 2022; 137:81–84 doi: https://doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000004253
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