High Altitude Cerebral Edema
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
Pagination or Media Count:
Acute mountain sickness AMS is usually a benign and self-limited illness which befalls previously healthy individuals who ascend rapidly to high altitude without sufficient acclimatization. In its more severe forms AMS can progress to a life-threatening condition in which pulmonary or cerebral edema can occur singly or in concert. High altitude cerebral edema HACE is a little known clinical entity which manifests itself by a perplexing array of both generalized and localized neurological symptoms and signs. Furthermore, the development of HACE in climbers offers a unique experimental situation in which to examine the effects of hypoxia on the central nervous system. The epidemiology and clinical picture of HACE are reviewed. In addition, the pathology and predominant pathophysiological mechanisms postulated to explain HACE are examined and the present recommendations for prevention and treatment of this dangerous and unusual form of brain swelling are discussed. Keywords Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, Cytotoxic edema, Decompression sickness, Diuretics, Steroids, Vasogenic edema.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Stress Physiology