Sleep-disordered breathing and oxidative stress in preclinical chronic mountain sickness (excessive erythrocytosis)

Colleen Glyde Julian, Enrique Vargas, Marcelino Gonzales, R. Daniela Dávila, Anne Ladenburger, Lindsay Reardon, Caroline Schoo, Robert W. Powers, Teofilo Lee-Chiong, Lorna G. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Chronic mountain sickness (CMS) is considered to be a loss of ventilatory acclimatization to high altitude (>2500m) resulting in marked arterial hypoxemia and polycythemia. This case-control study explores the possibility that sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and associated oxidative stress contribute to the etiology of CMS. Nocturnal respiratory and SaO2 patterns were measured using standard polysomnography techniques and compared between male high-altitude residents (aged 18-25) with preclinical CMS (excessive erythrocytosis (EE), n=20) and controls (n=19). Measures of oxidative stress and antioxidant status included isoprostanes (8-iso-PGF2alpha), superoxide dismutase and ascorbic acid. EE cases had a greater apnea-hypopnea index, a higher frequency of apneas (central and obstructive) and hypopneas during REM sleep, and lower nocturnal SaO2 compared to controls. 8-iso-PGF2alpha was greater in EE than controls, negatively associated with nocturnal SaO2, and positively associated with hemoglobin concentration. Mild sleep-disordered breathing and oxidative stress are evident in preclinical CMS, suggesting that the resolution of nocturnal hypoxemia or antioxidant treatment may prevent disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-196
Number of pages9
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Altitude
  • Oxidative stress
  • Polycythemia
  • Sleep-disordered breathing


Dive into the research topics of 'Sleep-disordered breathing and oxidative stress in preclinical chronic mountain sickness (excessive erythrocytosis)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this