Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment drugs Warning Signs Prevention Complications Underlying Cause

Altitude Pulmonary Edema Evaluation

The evaluation of a high altitude pulmonary edema begins with a history and physical exam.

Physical findings in someone with high altitude pulmonary edema may include:


Physiologic Divisions of High Altitude
AltitudeElevationEffects
High4,900-11,500 ftdecreased exercise performance, increased ventilation
Very high11,500-18,000 ftextreme low oxygen during sleep & activity
Extremely high>18,000 ftphysiologic decompensation in humans

Tests are usually not necessary to make the diagnosis of high altitude pulmonary edema.

Tests that may be used to evaluate high altitude pulmonary edema include:

Continue to Altitude Pulmonary Edema Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Altitude Pulmonary Edema References
  1. Basnyat B, Murdoch DR. High-altitude illness. Lancet. 2003 Jun 7;361(9373):1967-74. [12801752]
  2. Foster PP, Feiveson AH, Boriek AM. Predicting time to decompression illness during exercise at altitude, based on formation and growth of bubbles. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2000 Dec;279(6):R2317-28. [11080100]
  3. Gallagher SA, Hackett PH. High-altitude illness. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2004 May;22(2):329-55, viii. Review. [15163571]
  4. Gertsch JH, Basnyat B, Johnson EW, Onopa J, Holck PS. Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled comparison of ginkgo biloba and acetazolamide for prevention of acute mountain sickness among Himalayan trekkers: the prevention of high altitude illness trial (PHAIT). BMJ. 2004 Apr 3;328(7443):797. [15070635]
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