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The prevalence of High Altitude Polycythemia (or Chronic Mountain Sickness) is between 8 and 15% in the high altitude regions of South America. There is no pharmacological treatment available. After a first preliminary study in 2003 demonstrating the beneficial effects of acetazolamide in reducing hematocrit in these patients, after 3 weeks of treatment, we want to confirm this effect and implement a treatment protocol of 3 month-duration.
Chronic mountain sickness (CMS) is characterized by an excessive number of red cells in the blood of persons living permanently above the altitude of 2,500m. The symptoms of this very incapacitating disease are : headaches, chronic asthenia, digestive troubles, sleep disturbances. The hemoglobin concentration is higher than 21 g/dl of blood. In addition, patients show a pulmonary hypertension of variable degree, as well as a systemic hypertension.
This disease affects essentially males, but women are also concerned after menopause. The evolution of the disease is always very dramatic, towards a cardiac failure and cerebral vascular stroke. The prevalence is between 8% and 15% on the Andean Altiplano . No pharmacological treatment is available.
A preliminary study was performed (Richalet et al. AJRCCM, 2005) that demonstrated the efficiency of acetazolamide (a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor) in reducing the hematocrit and the erythropoetin concentration,and increasing nocturnal oxygen saturation in patients suffering from CMS, after 3 weeks of treatment.
We plan to perform a double-blinded placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficiency of a 3-month treatment with daily 250 mg acetazolamide to reduce the hematocrit and hemoglobin concentrations and ameliorate the clinical symptoms of 55 patients suffering from CMS and living at high altitude (Cerro de Pasco, Peru).
Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double-Blind, Primary Purpose: Treatment
High Altitude Polycythemia
University Cayetano Heredia
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Association pour la Recherche en Physiologie de l'Environnement
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-26T22:40:34-0400
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A morbid condition of ANOXIA caused by the reduced available oxygen at high altitudes.
The volume of packed RED BLOOD CELLS in a blood specimen. The volume is measured by centrifugation in a tube with graduated markings, or with automated blood cell counters. It is an indicator of erythrocyte status in disease. For example, ANEMIA shows a low value; POLYCYTHEMIA, a high value.
A vertical distance measured from a known level on the surface of a planet or other celestial body.
An increase in the total red cell mass of the blood. (Dorland, 27th ed)
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