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Cerebral hemodynamic characteristics of acute mountain sickness upon acute high-altitude exposure at 3,700 m in young Chinese men.



We aimed at identifying the cerebral hemodynamic characteristics of acute mountain sickness (AMS).


Transcranial Doppler (TCD) sonography examinations were performed between 18 and 24 h after arrival at 3,700 m via plane from 500 m (n = 454). A subgroup of 151 subjects received TCD examinations at both altitudes.


The velocities of the middle cerebral artery, vertebral artery (VA) and basilar artery (BA) increased while the pulsatility indexes (PIs) and resistance indexes (RIs) decreased significantly (all p < 0.05). Velocities of BA were higher in AMS (AMS+) individuals when compared with non-AMS (AMS-) subjects (systolic velocity: 66 ± 12 vs. 69 ± 15 cm/s, diastolic velocity: 29 ± 7 vs. 31 ± 8 cm/s and mean velocity, 42 ± 9 vs. 44 ± 10 cm/s). AMS was characterized by higher diastolic velocity [V d_VA (26 ± 4 vs. 25 ± 4, p = 0.013)] with lower PI and RI (both p = 0.004) in VA. Furthermore, the asymmetry index (AI) of VAs was significantly lower in the AMS + group [-5.7 % (21.0 %) vs. -2.5 % (17.8 %), p = 0.016]. The AMS score was closely correlated with the hemodynamic parameters of BA and the V d_VA, PI, RI and AI of VA.


AMS is associated with alterations in cerebral hemodynamics in the posterior circulation rather than the anterior one, and is characterized by higher blood velocity with lower resistance. In addition, the asymmetry of VAs may be involved in AMS.

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