Accession Number : ADA131533

Title :   Prevention of Acute Mountain Sickness by Dexamethasone,


Personal Author(s) : Johnson,T Scott ; Rock,Paul B ; Fulco,Charles S ; Trad,Laurie ; Spark,Richard F

PDF Url : ADA131533

Report Date : 27 Jul 1983

Pagination or Media Count : 20

Abstract : Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is a syndrome which occurs when unacclimatized individuals rapidly ascend to high altitude. It is postulated that cerebral edema causes the symptoms of AMS. Since dexamehtasone is useful in treating some forms of cerebral edema, we investigated its role in the prevention of AMS. Utilizing a double-blind, crossover design, eight young men were exposed to a simulated altitude of 4570 m (15,000 ft) on two occasions. On one occasion, they received dexamethasone (4 mg every 6 h) for 36 h before and throughout the 42 h exposure. On the other, they received a placebo. Presence of AMS symptoms was established by a questionnaire and a clinical interview. Indices of Cerebral and respiratory symptoms(AMS-C and AMS-R, respectively) were derived from the questionnaire. During the clinical interview, subjects were scored from 0 (no symptoms) to 3 (severe symptoms). Dexamethasone significantly reduced AMS symptoms. AMS-C decreased from (mean + or - SE) 1.09 + or - 0.18 to 0.26 + or - 0.08 and AMS-R decreased from 0.64 + or - 0.09 to 0.31 + or - 0.06 during dexamethasone treatment (both p0.0001). As judged by clinical interview, symptom score decreased from 1.10 + or - 0.11 to 0.28 + or - 0.07 (p0.0001). We conclude that dexamethasone is effective in preventing the symptoms of AMS.

Descriptors :   *Altitude sickness, *Drugs, High altitude, Edema, Cerebrum, Males, Simulation, Physiological effects, Preventive medicine, Chemotherapy

Subject Categories : Medicine and Medical Research
      Stress Physiology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE