II. Pathophysiology

  1. End-stage High Altitude Sickness
  2. Course from mild Ataxia to death can occur within hours

III. Symptoms

IV. Signs

  1. Ataxia
    1. Screening: Heal-toe walking in a straight line
  2. Altered Mental Status

V. Diagnosis

  1. Criteria 1
    1. Mental status changes OR Ataxia and
    2. Acute Mountain Sickness criteria
  2. Criteria 2
    1. Mental status changes AND Ataxia
    2. Without Acute Mountain Sickness criteria

VI. Management

  1. See High Altitude Sickness
  2. Gamow Bag
  3. Descend Immediately by at least 1000 meters (even 500 meters may be sufficient)
  4. Dexamethasone
    1. Initial: 4-8 mg IM/IV/PO
    2. Later: 4 mg q6h IM/IV/PO
  5. High flow Supplemental Oxygen
  6. Intubation and Hyperventilation if patient comatose

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Related Studies

Ontology: High altitude cerebral edema (C0472390)

Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
SnomedCT 230762003
English high altitude cerebral edema, high altitude cerebral oedema, High altitude cerebral edema, High altitude cerebral oedema, High altitude cerebral edema (disorder)
Spanish edema cerebral por la altura (trastorno), edema cerebral por la altura