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Cas Lek Cesk. 2015;154(6):280-6.

[Mountain sickness].

[Article in Czech]

Abstract

Mountaineering brings many health risks, one of which is mountain sickness. Its mildest form - acute mountain sickness - is mainly characterized by subjective symptoms (headache, loss of appetite, insomnia, weakness, nausea and rarely also vomiting). Advanced and life-threatening forms are characterized by tissue edema - cerebral or pulmonary high altitude edema. The common denominator of these acute forms is the low oxygen tension leading to hypoxemia and tissue ischemia. Sum of maladaptive or adaptive processes can modify the clinical picture. Underlying mechanisms of the chronic forms of pulmonary disease are the adaptation processes - pulmonary hypertension and polycythemia leading to heart failure.The only causal therapeutic intervention is to restore adequate oxygen tension, descend to lower altitudes or oxygen therapy. Pharmacotherapy has only a supportive effect. The prophylaxis includes stimulation of the respiratory center by carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (acetazolamide) antiedematous treatment with glucocorticoids (dexamethasone), increase lymphatic drainage of the lungs and brain by β2-agonists (salmeterol) or mitigation of pulmonary hypertension by calcium channel blockers or phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (sildenafil or tadalafil).

KEYWORDS:

acute mountain sickness - high-altitude pulmonary edema - high-altitude cerebral edema - pathophysiology - clinical picture - treatment.

PMID:
26750624
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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