Diurnal variations of acute mountain sickness, colour vision, and plasma cortisol and ACTH at high altitude

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1989 Feb;60(2):105-11.


Time dependence of colour vision in the green/red axis, signs of acute mountain sickness (AMS), and plasma cortisol and ACTH concentrations were studied in eight sea-level male natives exposed 79 h to altitude hypoxia at 4,350 m. Colour vision (CV) was explored every 2 h from 08:00 to 20:00 hours by means of two portable anomaloscopes, one derived from Essilor CHROMOTEST and the other from the OSCAR. Significant diurnal variations in CV were found using both anomaloscopes, major alterations in green relative to red sensitivity being seen in the early morning. AMS scores also showed remarkable diurnal variations, parallel to those of plasma cortisol and CV, with maximum values observed at 08:00 hours. Cortisol diurnal rhythm was maintained in hypoxia, with mean concentrations higher than in normoxia. ACTH followed the same trend, but variations were not significant. Significant correlations were found between instant values of CV, cortisol, and AMS score, but no causal relationship between these variables can be ascertained.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / blood*
  • Adult
  • Altitude*
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Color Perception*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Hypoxia / blood
  • Male
  • Time Factors


  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Hydrocortisone