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Intensive Care Med. 2001 Sep;27(9):1539-46.

Report of the consensus conference on diagnostic criteria of ALI/ARDS at high altitudes in Western China.

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  • 1Lan Zhou General Hospital of PLA, Lan Zhou, China 730050.


China is a mountainous country. The Qing-Zang plateau, Yun-Gui plateau, and Yellow Land plateau, which are known as the world's ridge, are located in the west of China. The highland area over 3,000 m in height occupies one-sixth of the land area of China and half the highland area of the world. About 60-80 million people live in the regions where the elevation ranges from 1,500 m to 4,000 m. In the latter half of the last century, the influence of complex environmental factors on the human body, such as low oxygen pressure, cold climate, strong radiation, high wind speed, and super-evaporation, were studied in an extensive and profound way and formed an important field of altitude medicine. For a long time, many researchers have carried out investigations related to the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and its pathophysiological mechanism initiated by cytokines and mediators, regarding which many problems are still unclear. However, systematic research into the mechanism from SIRS to ARDS to MODS in the highlands remains blank. The diagnostic criteria of ALI/ARDS in the highlands are quite different from that in the plain, and thus was a central topic for discussion at this meeting.

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