Hypoxia Impairs Endothelial Function in HAPEs
Aim of the study is to investigate the function of the systemic vascular endothelium in individuals susceptible to high-altitude pulmonary oedema during normoxia and normobaric hypoxia.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Single Blind
Primary Purpose: Educational/Counseling/Training
|Official Title:||Hypoxia Impairs Systemic Endothelial Function in Individuals Prone to High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema.|
Rationale: High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) is characterized by excessive pulmonary vasoconstriction and is associated with decreased concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) in the lung. Objectives: We hypothesized that individuals susceptible to HAPE (HAPE-S) would also have dysfunction of the vascular NO vasodilator pathway during hypoxia in the systemic vasculature. Methods: During normoxia (FI(O(2)) = 0.21) and 4 hours of normobaric hypoxia (FI(O(2)) = 0.12, corresponding to an altitude of 4,500 m above sea level) endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent vasodilator responses to intraarterial infusion of acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitroprusside, respectively, were measured by forearm venous occlusion plethysmography in nine HAPE-S subjects and in nine HAPE-resistant control subjects. Main Results: Pulmonary artery systolic pressure increased from 22 +/- 3 to 33 +/- 6 mm Hg (p < 0.001) during hypoxia in control subjects, and from 25 +/- 4 to 50 +/- 9 mm Hg in HAPE-S subjects (p < 0.001). Despite similar responses during normoxia in both groups, ACh-induced changes in forearm blood flow markedly decreased during hypoxia in HAPE-S subjects (p = 0.01) but not in control subjects. The attenuated vascular response to ACh infusion during hypoxia inversely correlated with increased pulmonary artery systolic pressure (p = 0.04) and decreased plasma nitrite correlated with attenuated ACh-induced vasodilation in HAPE-S subjects (p = 0.02). Conclusions: Hypoxia markedly impairs vascular endothelial function in the systemic circulation in HAPE-S subjects due to a decreased bioavailability of NO. Impairment of the NO pathway could contribute to the enhanced hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction that is central to the pathogenesis of HAPE.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00176007
|Principal Investigator:||Walter E Haefeli, MD||Heidelberg University|