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Pulmonary arterial systolic pressure and susceptibility to high altitude pulmonary edema

Abstract : There is evidence that pulmonary arterial hypertension plays a major role in the occurrence of high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). We tested the hypothesis that the pulmonary arterial systolic pressure response to a challenge associated with hypoxia and mild exercise may be considered a predictive factor of HAPE. Pulmonary arterial systolic pressure was measured by Doppler echocardiography in 8 HAPE susceptible (HAPE-S) subjects and 8 HAPE resistant mountaineers (HAPE-R) during a hypoxic exercise challenge established by the French Association for Sport Medicine (Richalet's test). Pulmonary arterial systolic pressure during hypoxic exercise allowed a significant discrimination between the groups, although an overlap of values was observed. When expressed as individual variations from baseline to hypoxic exercise level however, we found a highly significant difference. No overlap was observed between HAPE-R (range: 6.7-18.5 mmHg) and HAPE-S (range: 19.2-30.4 mmHg) groups, with a cut-off value at 19 mmHg. Plasma Vascular Endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and malondialdehyde (MDA) increased in response to hypoxic exercise only in HAPE-S group. Individual increases in pulmonary arterial systolic pressure during hypoxic exercise from basal resting normoxic values seem relevant to estimate HAPE susceptibility when measured during the Richalet's test.
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Rémi Mounier, Aimé Amonchot, Nicolas Caillot, Cécile Gladine, Bernard Citron, et al.. Pulmonary arterial systolic pressure and susceptibility to high altitude pulmonary edema. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, Elsevier, 2011, 179 (2-3), pp.294 - 299. ⟨10.1016/j.resp.2011.09.011⟩. ⟨hal-01883949⟩



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