Decompression of human platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in siliconized glass or plastic to 380 mm Hg for 3 hours at 38 degrees C produced platelet aggregation independent of pO2. Aggregation also took place when PRP was compressed to 8,000 PSI and then decompressed slowly to one atmosphere (14.7 PSI) without gas bubble formation. Platelets also aggregated when plasma was decompressed hydrodynamically (Bernoulli effect) at room temperature. It was also found that the drugs piracetam (2-oxypyrolidine acetamide) and pentoxifylline (1-(5-oxohexyl)-theobromine) at 0.5 and 1.0 mM prevent thrombocyte aggregation. Implications for mountain sickness are discussed.