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Cardiac function and pulmonary hypertension in Central Asian highlanders at 3250 m


Lichtblau, Mona; Saxer, Stéphanie; Furian, Michael; Mayer, Laura; Bader, Patrick R; Scheiwiller, Philipp M; Mademilov, Maamed; Sheraliev, Ulan; Tanner, Felix C; Sooronbaev, Talant M; Bloch, Konrad E; Ulrich, Silvia (2020). Cardiac function and pulmonary hypertension in Central Asian highlanders at 3250 m. European Respiratory Journal, 56(2):online.

Abstract

THE QUESTION ADDRESSED BY THE STUDY

Chronic exposure to hypoxia increases pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) in highlanders, but the criteria for diagnosis of high-altitude pulmonary hypertension (HAPH) are debated. We assessed cardiac function and PAP in highlanders at 3250 m and explored HAPH prevalence using different definitions.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

Central Asian highlanders free of overt cardiorespiratory disease, permanently living at 2500-3500 m compared to age-matched lowlanders living <800 m. Participants underwent echocardiography close to their altitude of residence (at 3250 m versus 760 m).

RESULTS

173 participants (97 highlanders, 76 lowlanders), mean±sd age 49±9 years (49% females) completed the study. Results in lowlanders versus highlanders were systolic PAP (23±5 versus 30±10 mmHg), right ventricular fractional area change (42±6% versus 39±8%), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (2.1±0.3 versus 2.0±0.3 cm), right atrial volume index (20±6 versus 23±8 mL·m$^{-2}$), left ventricular ejection fraction (62±4% versus 57±5%) and stroke volume (64±10 versus 57±11 mL); all between-group comparisons p<0.05. Depending on criteria, HAPH prevalence varied between 6% and 35%.

THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION

Chronic exposure to hypoxia in highlanders is associated with higher PAP and slight alterations in right and left heart function compared to lowlanders. The prevalence of HAPH in this large highlander cohort varies between 6% according to expert consensus definition of chronic high-altitude disease to 35% according to the most recent definition of pulmonary hypertension proposed for lowlanders.

Abstract

THE QUESTION ADDRESSED BY THE STUDY

Chronic exposure to hypoxia increases pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) in highlanders, but the criteria for diagnosis of high-altitude pulmonary hypertension (HAPH) are debated. We assessed cardiac function and PAP in highlanders at 3250 m and explored HAPH prevalence using different definitions.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

Central Asian highlanders free of overt cardiorespiratory disease, permanently living at 2500-3500 m compared to age-matched lowlanders living <800 m. Participants underwent echocardiography close to their altitude of residence (at 3250 m versus 760 m).

RESULTS

173 participants (97 highlanders, 76 lowlanders), mean±sd age 49±9 years (49% females) completed the study. Results in lowlanders versus highlanders were systolic PAP (23±5 versus 30±10 mmHg), right ventricular fractional area change (42±6% versus 39±8%), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (2.1±0.3 versus 2.0±0.3 cm), right atrial volume index (20±6 versus 23±8 mL·m$^{-2}$), left ventricular ejection fraction (62±4% versus 57±5%) and stroke volume (64±10 versus 57±11 mL); all between-group comparisons p<0.05. Depending on criteria, HAPH prevalence varied between 6% and 35%.

THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION

Chronic exposure to hypoxia in highlanders is associated with higher PAP and slight alterations in right and left heart function compared to lowlanders. The prevalence of HAPH in this large highlander cohort varies between 6% according to expert consensus definition of chronic high-altitude disease to 35% according to the most recent definition of pulmonary hypertension proposed for lowlanders.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Pneumology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
Language:English
Date:August 2020
Deposited On:07 Jan 2021 17:18
Last Modified:08 Jan 2021 21:01
Publisher:European Respiratory Society
ISSN:0903-1936
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1183/13993003.02474-2019
PubMed ID:32430419

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