The effects of hypoxia on the human organism has been considered doubly fascinating
by the scientific community. The knowledge of the discrete mechanisms allowing the acclimatization
both at genetic level or through the cell mediators production in addition to the macroscopic
responses of the cardio-circulatory and ventilatory systems to a hypoxic environment has been progressively
developed since the last century; moreover granting a safer stay in hypoxic conditions
not only for the residents but also for the different cathegories of workers, sportsmen and tourists
has been considered a worthy aim of the medical activity. The effects of hypoxia were simulated in
laboratory by means of an induced low pressure environment (normobaric hypoxia) or tested on the
subjects at different levels of altitude (hypobaric hypoxia). Far from describing all the physiological
and pathological responses of the organism, in this review, the authors expose the state of the art in
the knowledge of the responsiveness of the pulmonary circle to the acute or chronic hypoxic condition,
its possible progression to the pulmonary arterial hypertension, the latter being more appropriately
named High-Altitude Pulmonary Hypertension. The currently available therapeutic options in
the treatment of High-Altitude Pulmonary Hypertension are also reviewed.
Keywords: Pulmonary hypertension, hypoxia, high altitude, flight, arterial blood, hemoglobin.
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