Most read about HAPE (with link)

4:34 p.m. on May 28, 2001 (EDT)

7:40 p.m. on May 28, 2001 (EDT)

It says you have to subscribe to read the srticle (n/t)
7:56 p.m. on May 28, 2001 (EDT)

Here is the text

May 1, 2001


Helping Climbers Fend Off Illness


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esearchers believe they may now be able to explain what happens to mountain climbers struck down by a condition popularly known as HAPE.

The illness, high altitude pulmonary edema, can occur among climbers who go beyond 8,250 feet, especially those who ascend too rapidly. It is characterized by extreme listlessness, fluid in the lungs, sleeplessness, coughing up blood and sometimes disorientation. It is sometimes fatal.

Doctors have theorized that as the air pressure lowers at higher altitudes, the small blood vessels in the lungs swell, or perhaps become inflamed, causing leaks.

But in a study in the current issue of Circulation, published by the American Heart Association, the lead author, Dr. Marco Maggiorini of the University of Zurich, said researchers detected no signs of inflammation in the climbers studied. They did, however, find that the pressure in the vessels, or capillaries, was elevated, and that this allowed water to accumulate in the lungs.

The researchers concluded that the illness was directly linked to the oxygen atmosphere at high altitude, and not to leaking. They noted that as soon as the victims were given oxygen or vasodilators, which relax the blood vessels and improve blood flow, the condition improved.

They suggest that climbers who know they are susceptible to HAPE ask their doctors about using vasodilators before they begin their ascents, to ward off the illness.

3:44 p.m. on May 29, 2001 (EDT)

Poutting and doping

Thanks for the info.
Sounds like the non-prescription/OTC advice of pressure breathing may help to slow down the onset of HAPE. You know... pout your lips and blow, thus increasing the pressure in the lung as you exhale. And not huffing and puffing as you're climbing.

About the idea of using vasodilators/Ca-channel blockers as a prophylaxis for HAPE, I don't know whether it will turn climbers into hypotensive-diuretic-ginkoized (lower blood clotting)-bleeding-O2 straving slugs(see this board: Hemoglobin and altitude - Tlee 04/20/01). I assuming some medical/exercise professionals can fill in on this.

Nifedipine or other Ca-channel blockers/vasodilators are already being used to treat HAPE, see:

Take care. :-))

May 24, 2018
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