To the Editor.—
With respect to "High-Altitude Edema" (239:2239, 1978), we may mention the fact that in our climatic hospital (altitude only 1,000 m) we also often notice the phenomenon of higher water intake, water retention, and moderate edema during the first days of acclimatization in the cases of both healthy subjects and patients, without any bodily exercise. In asthmatic patients (approximately 1,500 to 2,000 per year) the dose of steroids administered before may often be decreased or even abandoned. We interpreted this as a stimulating effect of altitudinal climate on the adrenal cortex, promoting, among others, aldosterone secretion. To verify this, after experimenting with other laboratory methods, this year we started to use radioimmunoassay to follow up changes in plasma aldosterone level in those admitted to us from the plain. Results seem to corroborate the assumption.