[High altitude pulmonary edema. An experiment of nature to study the underlying mechanisms of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary edema in humans]

Schwab, Marcos; Jayet, Pierre-Yves; Allemann, Yves; Sartori, Claudio; Scherrer, Urs (2007). [High altitude pulmonary edema. An experiment of nature to study the underlying mechanisms of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary edema in humans]. Medicina, 67(1), pp. 71-81. Buenos Aires: Sociedad Argentina de Investigación Clínica

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High altitude constitutes an exciting natural laboratory for medical research. Over the past decade, it has become clear that the results of high-altitude research may have important implications not only for the understanding of diseases in the millions of people living permanently at high altitude, but also for the treatment of hypoxemia-related disease states in patients living at low altitude. High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) is a life-threatening condition occurring in predisposed, but otherwise healthy subjects, and, therefore, allows to study underlying mechanisms of pulmonary edema in humans, in the absence of confounding factors. Over the past decade, evidence has accumulated that HAPE results from the conjunction of two major defects, augmented alveolar fluid flooding resulting from exaggerated hypoxic pulmonary hypertension, and impaired alveolar fluid clearance related to defective respiratory transepithelial sodium transport. Here, after a brief presentation of the clinical features of HAPE, we review this novel concept. We provide experimental evidence for the novel concept that impaired pulmonary endothelial and epithelial nitric oxide synthesis and/or bioavailability may represent the central underlying defect predisposing to exaggerated hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction and alveolar fluid flooding. We demonstrate that exaggerated pulmonary hypertension, while possibly a condition sine qua non, may not be sufficient to cause HAPE, and how defective alveolar fluid clearance may represent a second important pathogenic mechanism. Finally, we outline how this insight gained from studies in HAPE may be translated into the management of hypoxemia related disease states in general.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Cardiology

UniBE Contributor:

Allemann, Yves

ISSN:

0025-7680

ISBN:

17408027

Publisher:

Sociedad Argentina de Investigación Clínica

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:54

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2015 22:01

PubMed ID:

17408027

Web of Science ID:

000245192400015

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/23211 (FactScience: 40598)

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