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.
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