Author Affiliations: Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver (Dr Hackett); Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco; Dr Rennie is Deputy Editor, JAMA.
High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) is a potentially fatal condition
that typically starts after ascent in people ascending too quickly. When first
described, HAPE was assumed to be due to acute left ventricular failure, but
it has been known for 40 years that HAPE is associated with an excessive hypoxic
pulmonary vasoconstriction and pulmonary hypertension. This by itself cannot
be the sole cause, however, because not all individuals who develop pulmonary
hypertension develop HAPE at altitude.
Hackett P, Rennie D. High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema. JAMA. 2002;287(17):2275-2278. doi:10.1001/jama.287.17.2275