High altitude pulmonary edema

High Altitude Pulmonary Edema

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High altitude pulmonary edema

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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 .Some cases, however, have been reported also at lower altitudes (between in highly vulnerable subjects), although what makes some people susceptible to HAPE is not currently known. HAPE remains the major cause of death related to high-altitude exposure with a high mortality in absence of adequate emergency treatment.


Physiological and symptomatic changes often vary according to the altitude involved.

The Lake Louise Consensus Definition for High Altitude Pulmonary Edema has set widely-used criteria for defining HAPE symptoms:
 "Lake Louise Consensus on the Definition of Altitude Illness",
 ISMM, August 2001, webpage:

Symptoms: at least two of:
* Difficulty in breathing (dyspnea) at rest
* Cough
* Weakness or decreased exercise performance
* Chest tightness or congestion

Signs: at least two of:
* Crackles or wheezing (while breathing) in at least one lung field
* Central cyanosis (blue skin color)
* Tachypnea (rapid shallow breathing)
* Tachycardia (rapid heartrate)

Intermediate Altitudes (1500-2500 m or 4900-8200 feet)
Clinical symptoms are...
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