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High-altitude-related disorders--Part I: Pathophysiology, differential diagnosis, and treatment.
Heart Lung. 2003 Nov-Dec; 32(6):353-9.HL

Abstract

As increasing numbers of people choose to sojourn or retire to the mountains, high-altitude illness is becoming a pathological phenomenon about which healthcare providers should have greater awareness. Hypoxia is the primary cause of high-altitude illness, but other stressors on the sympathetic nervous system, such as cold and exertion, also contribute to disease development and progression. Although variable across persons, symptoms of high-altitude disorders usually occur at altitudes over 7000 feet, and typically in 1 of 3 forms: acute mountain sickness (AMS), high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE), or high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). Major symptoms include nausea, poor sleep, headache, lassitude, cough, dyspnea on exertion and at rest, ataxia, and mental status changes. As a rule, illness occurring at high altitude should be attributed to the altitude until proven otherwise. Treatment is best accomplished by descent and by oxygen or pharmacologic intervention if necessary. Under no circumstances should a person with worsening symptoms of high-altitude illness delay descent. As will be discussed in part II of this article, gradual ascent and subsequent acclimatization to altitude is the most effective prevention, though acetazolamide (Diamox) may be a useful prophylactic measure in some.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Acute/Tertiary Care, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

14652526

Citation

Rodway, George W., et al. "High-altitude-related disorders--Part I: Pathophysiology, Differential Diagnosis, and Treatment." Heart & Lung : the Journal of Critical Care, vol. 32, no. 6, 2003, pp. 353-9.
Rodway GW, Hoffman LA, Sanders MH. High-altitude-related disorders--Part I: Pathophysiology, differential diagnosis, and treatment. Heart Lung. 2003;32(6):353-9.
Rodway, G. W., Hoffman, L. A., & Sanders, M. H. (2003). High-altitude-related disorders--Part I: Pathophysiology, differential diagnosis, and treatment. Heart & Lung : the Journal of Critical Care, 32(6), 353-9.
Rodway GW, Hoffman LA, Sanders MH. High-altitude-related disorders--Part I: Pathophysiology, Differential Diagnosis, and Treatment. Heart Lung. 2003 Nov-Dec;32(6):353-9. PubMed PMID: 14652526.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - High-altitude-related disorders--Part I: Pathophysiology, differential diagnosis, and treatment. AU - Rodway,George W, AU - Hoffman,Leslie A, AU - Sanders,Mark H, PY - 2003/12/4/pubmed PY - 2004/4/29/medline PY - 2003/12/4/entrez SP - 353 EP - 9 JF - Heart & lung : the journal of critical care JO - Heart Lung VL - 32 IS - 6 N2 - As increasing numbers of people choose to sojourn or retire to the mountains, high-altitude illness is becoming a pathological phenomenon about which healthcare providers should have greater awareness. Hypoxia is the primary cause of high-altitude illness, but other stressors on the sympathetic nervous system, such as cold and exertion, also contribute to disease development and progression. Although variable across persons, symptoms of high-altitude disorders usually occur at altitudes over 7000 feet, and typically in 1 of 3 forms: acute mountain sickness (AMS), high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE), or high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). Major symptoms include nausea, poor sleep, headache, lassitude, cough, dyspnea on exertion and at rest, ataxia, and mental status changes. As a rule, illness occurring at high altitude should be attributed to the altitude until proven otherwise. Treatment is best accomplished by descent and by oxygen or pharmacologic intervention if necessary. Under no circumstances should a person with worsening symptoms of high-altitude illness delay descent. As will be discussed in part II of this article, gradual ascent and subsequent acclimatization to altitude is the most effective prevention, though acetazolamide (Diamox) may be a useful prophylactic measure in some. SN - 0147-9563 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/14652526/High_altitude_related_disorders__Part_I:_Pathophysiology_differential_diagnosis_and_treatment_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -