Interventions for treating acute high altitude illness
Franco, Juan V.A.
Date of Issue2018
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Background: Acute high altitude illness is defined as a group of cerebral and pulmonary syndromes that can occur during travel to high altitudes. It is more common above 2500 metres, but can be seen at lower elevations, especially in susceptible people. Acute high altitude illness includes a wide spectrum of syndromes defined under the terms 'acute mountain sickness' (AMS), 'high altitude cerebral oedema' and 'high altitude pulmonary oedema'. There are several interventions available to treat this condition, both pharmacological and non‐pharmacological; however, there is a great uncertainty regarding their benefits and harms. Objectives: To assess the clinical effectiveness, and safety of interventions (non‐pharmacological and pharmacological), as monotherapy or in any combination, for treating acute high altitude illness. Authors' conclusions: There is limited available evidence to determine the effects of non‐pharmacological and pharmacological interventions in treating acute high altitude illness. Low‐quality evidence suggests that dexamethasone and acetazolamide might reduce AMS score compared to placebo. However, the clinical benefits and harms related to these potential interventions remain unclear. Overall, the evidence is of limited practical significance in the clinical field. High‐quality research in this field is needed, since most trials were poorly conducted and reported.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
© 2018 The Cochrane Collaboration. All rights reserved. This paper was published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and is made available with permission of The Cochrane Collaboration.