Unraveling the mechanism of high altitude pulmonary edema

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During the last decade, major advances in the understanding of the mechanism of high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) have supplemented the landmark work done in the previous 30 years. A brief review of the earlier studies will be described, which will then be followed by a more complete treatise on the subsequent research, which has elucidated the role of accentuated pulmonary hypertension in the development of HAPE. Vasoactive mediators, such as nitric oxide (NO) and endothelin-1, have played a major role in this understanding and have led to preventive and therapeutic interventions. Additionally, the role of the alveolar epithelium and the Na-K ATPase pump in alveolar fluid clearance has also more recently been understood. Direction for future work will be given as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-135
Number of pages11
JournalHigh Altitude Medicine and Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Acclimatization
  • Alveolar fluid clearance
  • Endothelin-1
  • Nitric oxide
  • Pulmonary hypertension

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