Ambulatory Blood Pressure at Sea Level and High Altitude in a Climber with a Kidney Transplant and Hypertension.
Phelan B., Mather L., Regmi N., Starling J., Twillmann D., McElwee M., Paudel P., Basnyat B., Keyes LE.
Background and Objectives: High altitude may increase blood pressure (BP) and the kidney plays an important role in acclimatization. Little is known about how transplanted kidneys respond to the hypoxic stress at high altitude. We compared 24 hour ambulatory BP in a climber with a kidney transplant and hypertension at sea level and at high altitude (2860-4300 m). Methods: Welch-Allyn ABPM 6100 monitor was used to collect heart rate, systolic BP (SBP), and diastolic BP every 30 minutes while awake, and hourly while asleep. BP was monitored for 49 hours at sea level and for 53 hours at 2860-4300 m. Results: Overall mean SBP did not differ between altitudes. At high altitude, the participant's mean nocturnal BP increased, but this "reverse dipping" pattern was not observed at sea level. The participant had no evidence of altitude illness or infectious complications at high altitude. Conclusions: This case builds on previous reports that kidney transplant recipients may safely travel to high altitude. Further study is required to determine the generalizability to other travelers with kidney transplant and/or underlying hypertension, and the clinical significance of short-term elevated nocturnal BP at high altitude.