What Is High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema?

Q:
What is high-altitude pulmonary edema?

A:
High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) is a life-threatening form of non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation in the lungs) that occurs in otherwise healthy mountaineers at altitudes typically above 2,500 meters (8,200 ft).

However, cases have also been reported at lower altitudes (between 1,500–2,500 meters or 4,900–8,200 feet in highly vulnerable subjects), though what makes some people susceptible to HAPE is currently unknown.

HAPE remains the major cause of death related to high-altitude exposure, with a high mortality rate in the absence of adequate emergency treatment.

Keywords: high altitude pulmonary edema; pulmonary edema high altitude.

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