Document Detail

Air travel in women with lymphangioleiomyomatosis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17040934     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The safety of air travel in patients with pneumothorax-prone pulmonary diseases, such as lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), has not been studied to any great extent. A questionnaire-based evaluation of air travel in patients with LAM was conducted to determine experiences aboard commercial aircraft. METHODS: A survey was sent to women listed in the US LAM Foundation registry (n = 389) and the UK LAM Action registry (n = 59) to assess air travel, including problems occurring during flight. Women reporting a pneumothorax in flight were followed up to ascertain further details about the incident. RESULTS: 327 (73%) women completed the survey. 308 women answered the travel section, of whom 276 (90%) had "ever" travelled by aeroplane for a total of 454 flights. 95 (35%) women had been advised by their doctor to avoid air travel. Adverse events reported included shortness of breath (14%), pneumothorax (2%, 8/10 confirmed by chest radiograph), nausea or dizziness (8%), chest pain (12%), unusual fatigue (11%), oxygen desaturation (8%), headache (9%), blue hands (2%), haemoptysis (0.4%) and anxiety (22%). 5 of 10 patients with pneumothorax had symptoms that began before the flight: 2 occurred during cruising altitude, 2 soon after landing and 1 not known. The main symptoms were severe chest pain and shortness of breath. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Adverse effects occurred during air travel in patients with LAM, particularly dyspnoea and chest pain. Hypoxaemia and pneumothorax were reported. The decision to travel should be individualised; patients with unexplained shortness of breath or chest pain before scheduled flights should not board. Patients with borderline oxygen saturations on the ground should be evaluated for supplemental oxygen therapy during flight. Although many women had been advised not to travel by air, most travelled without the occurrence of serious adverse effects.
Stacey Pollock-BarZiv; Marsha M Cohen; Gregory P Downey; Simon R Johnson; Eugene Sullivan; Francis X McCormack
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2006-10-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Thorax     Volume:  62     ISSN:  0040-6376     ISO Abbreviation:  Thorax     Publication Date:  2007 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-02-08     Completed Date:  2007-02-26     Revised Date:  2010-09-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0417353     Medline TA:  Thorax     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  176-80     Citation Subset:  IM    
Women's College Research Institute, Women's College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Aerospace Medicine*
Follow-Up Studies
Health Surveys
Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / complications*,  therapy
Middle Aged
Oxygen / therapeutic use
Pneumothorax / etiology,  therapy
Reg. No./Substance:

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