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Natick, Massachusetts 01760. 2Cardiovascular Pulmonary Research Laboratory. University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Denver, Colorado 80202.
The Effects of Propranolol on Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and Well-Being at 4300 Meters Altitude.

Charles S. Fulco 1 , Paul B. Rock3 , John T. Reeves 2 , Laurie A. Trad1 , Patricia M. Young4 , and Allen Cymerman1

o

1Altitude

Research Division Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine Natick, Massachusetts 01760

IUS

2 Cardiovascular

Pulmonary Research Laboratory University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Denver, Colorado 80202 3 Department

of Medicine Fitzsimons Army Medical Center Aurora, Colorado 80045 4 Millipore

Corporation Waters Chromatography Division 34 Maple Street Milford, Massachusetts 01757

Running title: Propranolol and ALS

Mail proofs to:

Charles S. Fulco

Altitude Research Division USARIEM Kansas Street Natick, Massachusetts 01760

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The effects of Propranolol on Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and Well-Being at 4300 Meters Altitude '2 PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) Charles S. Fulco, Paul B. Rock, John T. Reeves, Laurie A. Trad, Patricia M. Young, Allen Cvmerman TO

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ABSTRACT

A number of

physiological

responses

and

adjustments

occur at high

altitude to compensate for the hypoxia. We hypothesized that interference with one component of

the

system, would hinder

normal

compensatory

altitude

process,

acclimatization

and

mountain sickness (AMS) and compromise well-being. yr) received either 80 mg

propranolol

the sympathetic nervous thereby exacerbate acute

Twelve young males (21 + 2

(PRO;n=6) or placebo (PLA;n=6), t.i.d.

at sea level (SL) and during the first 15 days of a 19-day residence at 4300 m (HA). Individuals were

randomly

assigned

to

each

Symptoms Questionnaire (BSQ) was administered at PM) during the entire altitude exposure

group. The Environmental

SL

and twice daily (AM and

to assess AMS symptoms and subjective

feelings of well-being. Supine heart rate (HR) was determined at rest twice at

SL and four times at HA. HR in the PLA group increased 40% over SL values (57 +

3 to 80

+

4 beats/min) by day

increase above

SL

values

7 at HA (p0.7)

as

previously

surpassed established

the criterion score for altitude sickness (11).

surpassed the criterion score for AMS-R the propranolol group, had scores

However, (>0.06).

only

the

placebo group

The placebo group, but not

for cold stress, distress, alert, exertion,

and fatigue that were statistically different

from sea level. The total, cold

stress, and distress scores for the propranolol group were significantly lower than the respective placebo group scores.

TABLE II HERE ***

***

By the second day factor scores for each

of

at

altitude,

the

groups

both were

groups improved. The total and lower

than the values from the

7 previous day with the

scores

that is, all of the

in

improvement did

propranolol group being complete;

the

differ statistically from the sea-level

not

values. However, the placebo group was still 'sick' as reflected by an AMS-C > 0.7

and

by

values

for

the

total

and

significantly different from sea level. and cold stress scores for

the

other

factor

scores

which

were

Furthermore, the total, AIS-C, AMS-R,

placebo

group were significantly higher than

the propranolol group scores. On day 3 of

the

altitude

exposure,

the

placebo

group also fully

recovered from AILS as reflected by all of the scores being similar to the sealevel values. During days 4 through

15

while ON TREATMENT, all of the scores

of both groups did not differ from sea level or between groups. Table III shows the last day

the

and the subsequent two days when the 17). As indicated, all of

the

were not altered from day 1

subjects were OFF TREATMENT (days 16 and

scores

of

the placebo and propranolol groups

to days 16 and 17.

***

TABLE III HERE ***

Figure I shows the heart rates

at

OFF TREATMENT. There were no statistical groups, ON or OFF

subjects were ON TREATMENT (day 15)

TREATMENT.

At

sea

differences at sea level between the

altitude,

heart rates differed between the

groups only during the ON-TREATMENT phase (days mean heart rate of the propranolol

group

which was not statistically different placebo group (78 beats/min).

level and at altitude, ON and

from

2 through 15). On day 19, the

increased to a value (74 beats/min) the

mean heart rate value of the

8

DISCUSSION It was previously observed that during an acute ascent to, and descent from 6000 m (