Pulmonary-artery pressure and exhaled nitric oxide in Bolivian and caucasian high altitude dwellers
Salinas Salmón, Carlos E
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Abstract Schwab, Marcos, Pierre-Yves Jayet, Thomas Stuber, Carlos Salinas, Jonathan Bloch, Hilde Spielvogel, Mercedes Villena, Yves Allemann, Claudio Sartori, and Urs Scherrer. Pulmonary-artery pressure and exhaled nitric oxide in Bolivian and Caucasian high altitude dwellers. High Alt. Med. & Biol. 9:295–299, 2008.—There is evidence that high altitude populations may be better protected from hypoxic pulmonary hypertension than low altitude natives, but the underlying mechanism is incompletely understood. In Tibetans, increased pulmonary respiratory NO synthesis attenuates hypoxic pulmonary hypertension. It has been speculated that this mechanism may represent a generalized high altitude adaptation pattern, but direct evidence for this speculation is lackoxide (NO) in 34 healthy, middle-aged Bolivian high altitude natives and in 34 age- and sex-matched, well-acclimatized Caucasian low altitude natives living at high altitude (3600 m). The mean ! SD systolic right ventricular to right atrial pressure gradient (24.3 ! 5.9 vs. 24.7 ! 4.9 mmHg) and exhaled NO (19.2 ! 7.2 vs. 22.5 ! 9.5 ppb) were similar in Bolivians and Caucasians. There was no relationship between pulmonary-artery pressure and respiratory NO in the two groups. These findings provide no evidence that Bolivian high altitude natives are better protected from hypoxic pulmonary hypertension than Caucasian low altitude natives and suggest that attenuation of pulmonary hypertension by increased respiratory NO synthesis may not represent a universal adaptation pattern in highaltitude populations.