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Altitude sickness

Summary of Altitude sickness
Altitude sickness is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (8,000 feet). It presents as a collection of nonspecific symptoms, acquired at high altitude or in low air pressure, resembling a case of "flu, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a hangover". Being exposed to low atmospheric oxygen results in hyperventilation and respiratory alkalosis. The body compensates metabolically by increasing the amount of erythropoietin, resulting in increased hematocrit and hemoglobin. Chronic hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction results in pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure




Respiratory system

Upper respiratory tract disorders
Lower respiratory tract disorders
Pleura and pleural space disorders
Pulmonary vascular disorders
Apnea and hypoventilation
Respiratory system pathology review

Altitude sickness


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High Yield Notes
7 pages

Altitude sickness

7 flashcards

USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

1 questions

A 23-year-old man comes to the office for advice on preventing altitude sickness for when he climbs mountains. He knows that gradual ascent and prevention of dehydration are important, but seeks pharmacologic options as well. Which of the following is the mechanism by which the first-line drug decreases tissue hypoxia in a low-oxygen environment?

External References