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Horizonte Médico (Lima)

Print version ISSN 1727-558X


LOPEZ DE GUIMARAES, Douglas; MERINO-LUNA, Alfredo  and  TINOCO-SOLORZANO, Amilcar. Acute high-altitude pulmonary edema in Huaraz: an analytical cross-sectional study. Horiz. Med. [online]. 2022, vol.22, n.3, e1687.  Epub Sep 27, 2022. ISSN 1727-558X.


To describe some epidemiological and clinical characteristics of acute high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) observed in a hospital of the highlands of Ancash, located at 3,052 m a.s.l.

Materials and methods:

A descriptive observational study conducted with 57 patients who attended the emergency service of Hospital Víctor Ramos Guardia - Huaraz between January 1997 and January 2020. All patients fulfilled Lake Louise Criteria and had a chest X-ray. Median and range were used to analyze the information.


Male sex accounted for 91.20 %, ascent HAPE 38.61 % and re-ascent HAPE 61.40 %. Out of all patients, 21.10 % had a history of HAPE, 19.33 % developed a previous respiratory infection, 10.53 % had a concomitant disease, 40.42 % had HAPE during the first quarter of the year and 45 % had been 10 days or less at low altitude. Patients’ clinical presentation included dyspnea at rest, pulmonary crackles, tachypnea, tachycardia and abnormal X-ray in 100 %; productive cough in 96.52 %; chest pain in 92.95 %; headache in 56.11 %; cyanosis in 68.41 %; pink sputum in 42.13 %; fever in 21.13 % and leukocytosis in 60.82 %. The median age was 20 years, respiratory rate 36/min, heart rate 124/min, SBP 100 mmHg, DBP 60 mmHg, temperature 37.2 °C, HGB 17.3 g/dl, HCT 53 %, WBC 12,500/mm3, radiographic resolution of the edema in 48 hours. There were no deaths.


The factors that influence HAPE and its determinants are altitude, rate of ascent, genetic factors and history of HAPE.

Keywords : Pulmonary Edema; Altitude; Diagnosis.

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