Migraine headache confounding the diagnosis of acute mountain sickness

Francis J. Karle, Paul S. Auerbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A 36-year-old man with a history of migraine headache attempted to hike from Lukla, Nepal, to Mount Everest Base Camp. On the sixth day of hiking, he had a migraine headache. After achieving resolution with typical therapies and rest, he ascended higher. Another headache developed that was interpreted to be a migraine. The headache was treated, and he ascended higher, after which severe symptoms of acute mountain sickness developed, necessitating his evacuation by helicopter. Persons with headaches in daily life may present challenges to diagnosis when traveling to high altitude. Careful evaluation and decision making are needed to achieve proper diagnosis and treatment of acute mountain sickness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-68
Number of pages9
JournalWilderness and Environmental Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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