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Bhandari, Sanjeeb Sudarshan, Pranawa Koirala, Sadichhya Lohani, Pratibha Phuyal, and Buddha Basnyat. Breathlessness at high altitude: first episode of bronchoconstriction in an otherwise healthy sojourner. High Alt Med Biol.. 18:179-181, 2017-High-altitude illness is a collective term for less severe acute mountain sickness and more severe high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and high-altitude cerebral edema, which we can experience while traveling to high altitude. These get better when we get down to the lower altitudes. People with many comorbidities also have been traveling to high altitudes from the dawn of civilization. Obstructive airway diseases can be confused with HAPE at high altitude. Asthma is one of those obstructive pulmonary diseases, but it is shown to get better with travel to the altitudes higher than the residing altitude. We present a case of 55-year-old nonsmoker, athletic, female, a lowland resident who developed difficulty breathing for the first time at high altitude. She did not get better with the descent to lower altitude and timely intake of acetazolamide. Her pulmonary function test showed obstructive airway pattern, which got better with salbutamol/ipratropium nebulization and oxygen.

Original publication




Journal article


High altitude medicine & biology

Publication Date





179 - 181


1 Mountain Medicine Society of Nepal, Nepal International Clinic , Kathmandu, Nepal .