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Effects from very high altitude and Acetazolimide


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  • Effects from very high altitude and Acetazolimide

    It has been a very long time since I have posted here. I have a question that might be answered at least in part here so I would like to ask it here before I call Dr. Maron Monday. I am traveling to Ecuador next week and will be traveling to Quito and Odovalo among others which are at altitudes of approximately 11,000 feet. I live in Boston at sea level. I have end stage HCM managed by Atenolol and Lisinopril. E.F. is up these days to about 40 from 30. I feel good and get around just fine after my myectomy in '03.

    My question is does anyone have first hand knowledge of being at this altitude from sea level with HCM. I have always tolerated high altitudes better than people who are seemingly in better shape, but haven't been to altitudes higher than about 6,000 in some years, but at 6,000 had no issues.

    I also read the drug Acetazolamide is commonly used to counter shallow night breathing due to the reduction of CO2 in the blood, which acts as a trigger to keep us breathing involuntarily. Does anyone have first hand knowledge of the use of this drug in persons with HCM?

    NEMC's (Boston) First Myectomy 7-22-2003

  • #2
    Re: Effects from very high altitude and Acetazolimide

    Hi Doug,
    I suspect that the answer is likely to be individual. I live at sea level too. In July I went hiking from 8,000 to 10,000 feet -- substantially higher than I'd been in quite some time. I was pretty apprehensive, but I did fine -- really slow, but not light-headed and with what felt like a reasonable heart rate. To put it another way, I enjoyed the hike.

    But I don't have end-stage HCM, and we probably differ in other ways too. I'd suspect that the way people respond to low O2 pressures may vary quite a bit.

    Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.


    • #3
      Re: Effects from very high altitude and Acetazolimide

      I'm sorry I don't have answers to your questions, but I just wanted to tell you it's so good to hear from you again. I'm glad to hear you're doing ok.
      Take care and keep in touch.
      Philippians 4:4-9; Wife, & 39 yo Mom to 9 year old son and 6 year old son/daughter twins; Diagnosed with HoCM 1999; Cleveland Clinic Myectomy and ICD, January 2006.


      • #4
        Re: Effects from very high altitude and Acetazolimide

        I do not have any first hand knowledge but just wanted to give you... my original myectomy mentor, a shout out. Hallow old friend Doug.

        Just thinking that some of the issues may be directly impacted for altitudes with regards to pulmonary hypertension issues as secondary to the HCM ..from pressures; intracardiac from the stiffness( DHF).

        Sounds like you are heading for some fun .. take care and let us know what is advised and all that helps you achieve your goal.. best wishes,

        Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
        Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
        Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
        SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
        [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
        Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
        Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
        Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin


        • #5
          Re: Effects from very high altitude and Acetazolimide

          We live in Colorado at about 8000 ft and frequently travel to 12000. Prior to my husbands transplant he was on the same drugs as you and did not have any ill effects traveling from Colorado to Florida and back. He just pretty much felt bad all the time. I know this probably does not answer your question but this was his experience. Tina