High Altitude pulmonary edema

Life threatening complication of rapid ascent to altitudes higher than 2500 meters.

Characterized by loss of stamina, shortness of breath with exertion, dry cough, and followed by dyspnea at rest, cyanosis, the findings of rales, increasing cough with pink and frothy sputum.

When the deterioration in gas exchange occurs, the risk of the development of high altitude cerebral edema increases.

Caused by an increase in pulmonary capillary pressure.

Hypoxia in mountain sickness associated with increased circulating proinflammatory cytokines and vascular leakage causing pulmonary edema.

Increased serum levels of IL-6, IL-6 receptor, and C reactive protein at elevtions higher than 3400 m.

At 8400 m healthy individuals have severe hypoxia.

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