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High Alt Med Biol. 2004 Summer;5(2):190-4.

A Tibetan with chronic mountain sickness followed by high altitude pulmonary edema on reentry.

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  • 1High Altitude Medical Research Institute, Xining, Qinghai, P. R. China.


Chronic mountain sickness (CMS) and high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) each occur rarely in Tibetans, and they have previously not been reported in the same person. Here we describe a 37-year-old native Tibetan man with CMS at 4300 m, who developed HAPE after his return home from a 12-day visit to sea level. Possible common pathogenetic factors included a poor ventilatory response to hypoxia, accentuated hypoxemia, pulmonary hypertension, and increased blood volume. In addition, strenuous exercise and high levels (to approximately 1000 ng/L) of plasma atrial natriuretic peptide may have contributed to HAPE.

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