Research finds retinal vessel leakage during high altitude exposure

June 4, 2013, The JAMA Network Journals

At high altitude, marked bilateral leakage of peripheral retinal vessels was observed in 7 of 14 participants (50 percent). All findings completely reversed after descent. "Retinal capillary leakage should be considered a part of the spectrum of high-altitude retinopathy," the authors write.

"Exposure to high altitude can cause (AMS) and, in severe cases, cerebral or . Capillary leakage has been hypothesized to play a role in the of AMS, although the mechanism of altitude-related illnesses remains largely unknown," writes Gabriel Willmann, M.D., of the University of Tubingen, Germany, and colleagues. "Vessel leakage in the retinal periphery has not been investigated. Our objective was to assess retinal vessel integrity at high altitude using fluorescein angiography."

As reported in a Researcher Letter, the study included 14 healthy, unacclimatized volunteers (7 male and 7 female participants, average age, 35 years) who were studied at baseline (1,119 feet), after ascent to 14,957 feet within 24 hours, and more than 14 days after return by fluorescein angiography. Photographs were independently graded in random order by 4 for presence and location of leakage.

Retinal abnormalities were not noted at baseline in any of the participants. At high altitude, marked bilateral leakage of peripheral retinal vessels was observed in 7 of 14 participants (50 percent). All findings completely reversed after descent. "Retinal capillary leakage should be considered a part of the spectrum of high-altitude retinopathy," the authors write.

Explore further: Monoclonal antibody effective therapy for diabetic retinopathy

More information: JAMA. 2013;309[21]:2210-2212

Related Stories

Monoclonal antibody effective therapy for diabetic retinopathy

October 7, 2012
(HealthDay)—An antibody can reduce retinal vascular leakage and inflammation in rat models of diabetic retinopathy, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in Diabetes.

Retinopathy severity linked to cardiovascular outcome

January 25, 2013
(HealthDay)—For individuals with type 2 diabetes, incident cardiovascular outcomes are determined not only by the severity of diabetic retinopathy but also by its progression, according to research published online Dec. ...

High altitude climbers at risk for brain bleeds

November 28, 2012
New magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research shows that mountain climbers who experience a certain type of high altitude sickness have traces of bleeding in the brain years after the initial incident, according to a study ...

Two days of staging as effective as four for high-altitude climbs

April 21, 2013
Afghanistan's geography is dominated by a collection of craggy peaks, the highest—a mountain known as Noshaq—has been measured to 7,492 meters. Consequently, the soldiers on duty in this mountainous terrain must often ...

AAP updates screening guide for retinopathy of prematurity

January 2, 2013
(HealthDay)—For the effective detection of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), at-risk infants should receive carefully timed retinal examinations (based on their gestational age) by an ophthalmologist experienced in the ...

High hsCRP may up risk of macular edema in T1DM

February 8, 2013
(HealthDay)—For patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, elevated levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) are associated with an increased risk of clinically significant macular edema (CSME) and with the development ...

Recommended for you

Number of older people with four or more diseases will double by 2035, say researchers

January 23, 2018
A study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, reports that the number of older people diagnosed with four or more diseases will double between 2015 and 2035. A third ...

Placental accumulation of flame retardant chemical alters serotonin production in rats

January 22, 2018
A North Carolina State University-led research team has shown a connection between exposure to a widely used flame retardant chemical mixture and disruption of normal placental function in rats, leading to altered production ...

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

January 22, 2018
Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.