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Potentially life-threatening emergency
High-altitude pulmonary edema
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Potentially life-threatening emergency

High-altitude pulmonary edema

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Contributors: Robert Lachky MD, Paritosh Prasad MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) is a rare cause of pulmonary edema that presents with dyspnea on exertion, dry cough, tachypnea, and sometimes blood-tinged or pink frothy sputum. It is the most common fatal manifestation of altitude illness.

HAPE develops after rapid ascent to high altitudes, typically those above 2500 meters (about 8000 feet). Onset is usually within 2-4 days. Altitude-induced changes in pulmonary vasculature (increased sympathetic tone, vasoconstriction) along with uneven perfusion of pulmonary vasculature leads to increased pulmonary capillary pressure, with failure of capillaries and leak of fluid across alveoli.

Risk factors include the following:
With treatment, recovery from HAPE is usually rapid.

Related topics: Acute mountain sickness, High-altitude cerebral edema

Codes

ICD10CM:
T70.20XA – Unspecified effects of high altitude, initial encounter

SNOMEDCT:
233707008  – High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema

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Last Reviewed: 05/17/2018
Last Updated: 05/17/2018
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Potentially life-threatening emergency
High-altitude pulmonary edema
Print 1 Images
High-altitude pulmonary edema : Cough, Fatigue, Cyanosis, Delirium, Exertional dyspnea, Frothy sputum, HR increased, RR increased, WBC elevated, Hypoxia
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.