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High-altitude research advances low-altitude medicine
Date:5/4/2010

esult of hypoxemia, deficient oxygenation of the blood, which is the consequence of an organ insufficiency, usually the heart or the lung.

Allemann and Scherrer observe that "the ultimate goal of most high-altitude researchers is not only to understand physiologic (mal)adaptation to hypoxia for the benefit of the millions exposing themselves to high altitude, but to think beyond that, imagining how the knowledge gained from field research at high altitude may be applied to the much larger number of patients with hypoxia/hypoxemia-associated diseases."

The issue provides cutting-edge insight into the current state of research in the field, as well as up-to-date information on the treatment and prevention of the three major high-altitude related diseases: acute mountain sickness, high-altitude cerebral edema, and high-altitude pulmonary edema. Articles provide unique information useful to clinician-scientists interested in high-altitude medicine and advice for practicing cardiologists and family doctors who have patients suffering from cardiovascular disease planning to travel to high altitude.

For the clinician, the article by Scherrer et al demonstrates how studies at high altitude have provided important insights into fundamental mechanisms underpinning pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary edema in humans. They show how these insights have been translated into novel approaches for the treatment of patients suffering from these problems at low altitude. Finally, it provides some hints on how the natural research laboratory of high altitude may provide novel insight into cardiovascular disease mechanisms in the future.

For the practicing physician, the article by Rimoldi et al provides concise information and practical advice on how to counsel cardiovascular patients planning to travel to high altitude. There is tremendous variability in individual responses to low oxygen that may be further amplified by external factors such as e
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Contact: Katrina Saling
k.saling@elsevier.com
215-239-3712
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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