Acute Pulmonary Edema of Altitude
Clinical and Physiologic Observations
Three separate episodes of acute pulmonary edema are described that developed in two otherwise healthy individuals during heavy exertion at high altitudes. Detailed physical examination and laboratory studies failed to demonstrate pulmonary infection or cardiac disease. Data obtained by cardiac catheterization during one of these episodes revealed elevation of the pulmonary artery pressure and a normal left atrial pressure.
This syndrome appears to be the consequence of pulmonary vascular obstruction distal to the capillary bed, presumably in the pulmonary veins. It is brought about by exposure of susceptible individuals to high altitudes, and is completely reversed by oxygen administration.
- © 1962 American Heart Association, Inc.