An elite mountaineer reported severe acute mountain sickness and ataxia during an 8000-m expedition and concomitant use of transdermal nitroglycerin patches aimed to prevent frostbites. Use of nitroglycerin for this purpose is off-label, and its safety has not been assessed. Moreover, a relation between nitrate-induced cerebral vasodilation and high altitude cerebral edema is theoretically possible on a pathophysiological basis. It is our opinion that nitroglycerin use at high altitude should be discouraged, as efficacy in the prevention of frostbites is questionable and safety has not been assessed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health