Acute Changes in Pulmonary Artery Pressures Due to Exercise and Exposure to High Altitude

left ventricularIn various forms of pulmonary hypertension, an association between elevated pulmonary artery pressures and abnormal left ventricular (LV) diastolic function has been proposed. Ventricular interaction with a shift of the septum toward the LV as a consequence of right ventricular pressure overload has been suggested as the primary cause of LV diastolic dysfunction.

At high altitude, not only acute hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension but also changes of the transmitral inflow pattern suggestive of impaired LV diastolic function have been described. In accordance to chronic right-sided pressure overload, ventricular interaction has been discussed as a cause for the observed alteration in LV diastolic function. Recently, a new concept of compensated altitude-induced diastolic dysfunction was proposed because changes in diastolic function at high altitude were mainly related to an increase in the atrial phase of LV filling.

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