Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2754

Full Length Research Paper

Epidemiological study of mountain sickness complicated with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau: Report of 103 cases

Qiquan Zhou1,2*, Yongjun Luo1,2, Hong Li2, Suzhi Li3, Xizhou Zhang4, Wei Gao5, Bihai Zheng3, Dingzhou Yang3, Fuyu Liu2 and Yuqi Gao2
1Department of High Altitude Disease, College of High Altitude Military Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China. 2Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine (Third Military Medical University), Ministry of Education, Chongqing 400038, China. 3Department of Mountain Sickness, General Hospital of Tibet Military Command ofthe Chinese PLA, Lhasa 850003, P. R. China. 4Institute of High Altitude Diseases; the 18th Hospital of the Chinese PLA, Yecheng 844900, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. 5Laboratory of Thoracic Surgery, General Hospital of Lanzhou Military Command ofthe Chinese PLA, Lanzhou 730070, China.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 28 July 2010
  •  Published: 04 September 2010


High altitude-multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (H-MODS) is a serious complication associated with high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE). However, its etiological factors remain unclear. The clinical records of 4,095 patients with HAPE and/or HACE hospitalized in 11 hospitalson the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in China from 1955 to 2007 were retrospectively analyzed to determine the incidence of H-MODS and unravel the causes and pathogenesis of H-MODS. A total of 103 cases met the diagnostic criteria of H-MODS, with a detection rate of 2.5%. Our results revealed that the mechanism underlying H-MODS pathogenesis may involve the activation of inflammatory andcoagulation pathways and damage to the gastrointestinal mucosal barrier. The study concludes that damage to multiple organs is a leading cause that attenuates the efficacy of various treatments against H-MODS. Therefore, timely and effective on-the-spot interventions are of significant values in reducing the incidence of H-MODS.


Key words: Severe acute mountain sickness, high altitude pulmonary edema, high altitude cerebral edema, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, high altitude-multiple organ dysfunction syndrome.