Urinary leukotriene E4 levels increase upon exposure to hypobaric hypoxia

James M. Roach, Stephen R. Muza, Paul Rock, Timothy P. Lyons, Craig M. Lilly, Jeffrey M. Drazen, Allen Cymerman

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Abstract

Study objective: To determine whether urinary leukotriene E4 (uLTE4) levels increase upon exposure to high altitude, and also to ascertain the relationship between uLTE4 levels and symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS). Design: Prospective, unblinded, single-factor (altitude) experimental study. Settings: US Army research laboratory facilities at sea level ([SL] 50 m), 1,830 m, and 4,360 m. Participants: Eight healthy male subjects ranging in age from 19 to 24 years. Measurements: uLTE4 levels and symptoms of AMS were measured at just above SL (50 m), 3 1/4 days after being transported from SL to moderate altitude (MA) (1,830 m), and 1 1/4 days after ascent from 1,830 to 4,300 m (high altitude [HA]). Symptoms of AMS were assessed using standard indexes derived from the Environmental Symptoms Questionnaire weighted toward cerebral (AMS-C) and respiratory (AMS-R) manifestations. Oxygen saturation was measured noninvasively by pulse oximetry at SL and HA. Results: The mean (± SEM) uLTE4 levels (pg/mg creatinine) were 67.9 (± 13.2) at SL; 82.3 (± 5.5) at MA; and 134.8 (± 19.4) at HA (p<0.05 comparing HA with SL and MA). Conclusions: We conclude that uLTE4 levels increase shortly after exposure to HA even after staging for 4 days at MA. Although this study does not clearly demonstrate a relationship between uLTE4 levels and symptoms of AMS, it supports the hypothesis that leukotrienes may be involved in the pathophysiologic state of AMS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-951
Number of pages6
JournalChest
Volume110
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996

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Keywords

  • altitude
  • altitude sickness
  • leukotrienes

Cite this

Roach, J. M., Muza, S. R., Rock, P., Lyons, T. P., Lilly, C. M., Drazen, J. M., & Cymerman, A. (1996). Urinary leukotriene E4 levels increase upon exposure to hypobaric hypoxia. Chest, 110(4), 946-951. https://doi.org/10.1378/chest.110.4.946