Type of Book: A single-authored comprehensive review of high-altitude physiology, altitude-related illnesses, and sea-level conditions that may be affected by high-altitude exposure.
Scope of Book: Dr. Hultgren has drawn on his extensive knowledge of cardiology and altitude research and his personal mountain-climbing experience to create a book designed to aid physicians and expedition leaders who must advise patients or clients about a wide variety of medical problems or conditions that may occur during trips or climbs to high altitudes.
Contents: This attractive, compact paperback consists of 30 chapters and 2 appendixes divided into 3 major sections. The first 11 chapters provide an outstanding review of the known physiologic effects of altitude on the major organ systems. Chapters 12 through 28 review major altitude-related illnesses such as acute mountain sickness, high-altitude pulmonary edema, and highaltitude cerebral edema as well as various less frequent illnesses. Chapter 29 summarizes the effect of altitude on numerous sealevel conditions, such as old age, diabetes, and pregnancy. Chapter 30 is devoted entirely to issues unique to women. Appendix 1 covers medicolegal aspects of expedition medicine for high-altitude trips. Appendix 2 lists 74 useful monographs and review articles for those who want additional information about altituderelated illnesses.
Strengths: This is the most detailed and up-to-date text I have read regarding altitude-related illness. In addition to the excellent content, tables, and illustrations, it is well organized and includes a useful summary at the beginning of each chapter. Pertinent references are listed at the end of each chapter.
Deficiencies: I noted no deficiencies.
Recommended Readership: Students, residents, practicing physicians, paramedical personnel, and expedition leaders or guides who are interested in altitude-related illnesses.
Overall Grading: ★★★★★
© 1998 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.