Association of High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema With the Major Histocompatibility Complex

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A constitutional susceptibility has been suggested in the development of high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) because HAPE generally affects healthy young people, some of whom suffer recurrent episodes. We examined whether immunogenetic susceptibility is present in HAPE-susceptible subjects.


There were significant associations of HAPE with HLA-DR6 and HLA-DQ4 and of pulmonary hypertension with HLA-DR6. An immunogenetic susceptibility, which is associated with HLA class II alleles located within the major histocompatibility complex, may underlie the development of HAPE, at least in some of its forms.

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