Stroke at moderate and high altitude

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Background: Stroke at high altitude is an understudied area in stroke research. With improvements in road infrastructure, access to high-altitude areas for recreation and living purposes has risen. Subsequently, it has been anticipated that due to normal physiological changes to high altitude the incidence of stroke is also likely to increase in these regions.
Methods: We searched PubMed for available literature about stroke at high altitude. Cross-referencing was done from available articles and through other scientific search engines. Relevant case series and case reports were included in this review of the topic.
Results: Only one review article, eight case series (including review of literature), and seven case reports were identified that could be included in this review. Most of the available data come from moderate and high altitude.
Conclusions: There is limited available literature about stroke at high and extreme altitudes. Stroke at high altitude is likely to become an important subset of stroke population. Currently, there is inadequate knowledge about the incidence and prevalence, mechanisms, and stroke outcomes. Cerebral venous thrombosis is more common than arterial stroke. Stroke is probably secondary to conventional risk factors, polycythemia, and other coagulopathies. A case-control study may identify the at-risk population for stroke at moderate and high altitudes.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

High Altitude Medicine & Biology