High-altitude climbing has many risks, and transplant recipients should discuss the associated risks and means of preparation with their physicians. This study aimed to help prepare athletic transplant donors and recipients for mountain climbing and was designed to evaluate physical performance and changes in cardiopulmonary and biochemical laboratory parameters of transplant recipients and donors in extreme conditions of high altitude. Ten subjects-six liver transplant recipients, two liver donors, and one kidney transplant recipient and his donor-were selected for this expedition to Island Peak, Himalayas, Nepal. Six healthy subjects joined the group for comparison. Blood samplings, vital signs, and oxygen saturation were evaluated, as was the Lake Louise acute mountain sickness score. All transplant subjects and donors reached the base camp (5150 m), and two liver transplant recipients and a liver donor reached the summit (6189 m). The blood levels of immunosuppressants were well maintained. The serum erythropoietin level was significantly higher in transplant recipients taking tacrolimus. With proper preparation, certain liver transplant patients and donors can tolerate strenuous physical activity and can tolerate high altitude similarly to normal healthy control subjects without significant biochemical laboratory changes in liver and renal function.
- Ascent to high altitude
- Biomedical laboratory parameters
- Cystatin C
- Live donor