altitude disease


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Related to altitude disease: Altitude illness

al·ti·tude sick·ness

a syndrome caused by low inspired oxygen pressure (as at high altitude) and characterized by nausea, headache, dyspnea, malaise, and insomnia; in severe instances, pulmonary edema and adult respiratory distress syndrome can occur; Synonym(s): Acosta disease, mountain sickness, puna, soroche

altitude sickness, altitude disease

a disease of animals in North and South America and north Africa at altitudes above 1,500-2,000 meters. Caused by the particular sensitivity and constrictive response of ruminant pulmonary arteriolar musculature to anoxia. The result is pulmonary hypertension and the risk of cor pulmonale. There is an age and resident risk. Those with even a minor impairment of the circulatory or respiratory systems may not be able to find sufficient cardiac reserve to compensate for the extra dynamic load created by the altitudinal anoxia, so that congestive heart failure develops. The risk for heart failure is increased by the ingestion of the indolizidine alkaloid swainsonine present in pasture Astragalus and Oxytropis. Called also brisket disease, mountain sickness, high mountain disease.