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The pathology of high altitude: an introduction to the disease states of high altitude

Authors
Journal
Current Anaesthesia and Critical Care
0953-7112
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
11
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1054/cacc.2000.0243
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract A number of pathologies specific to high altitude, that are precipitated by exposure to hypobaric hypoxia, may be grouped under the broad heading of altitude illness. These overlapping conditions, acute mountain sickness, high altitude cerebral oedema and high altitude pulmonary oedema are all characterized by marked individual susceptibility, oedema formation and a usually rapid resolution on descent to lower altitude. Possible pathophysiological mechanisms, prevention and treatment are discussed. Sleep disturbance and periodic breathing, high altitude cough and local cold injury, or frostbite, are also reviewed.

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