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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2006 Sep 26;114(13):1410-6.
doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.605527. Epub 2006 Sep 18.

Role of endothelin-1 in Exposure to High Altitude: Acute Mountain Sickness and Endothelin-1 (ACME-1) Study

Randomized Controlled Trial

Role of endothelin-1 in Exposure to High Altitude: Acute Mountain Sickness and Endothelin-1 (ACME-1) Study

Pietro Amedeo Modesti et al. Circulation. .


Background: The degree of pulmonary hypertension in healthy subjects exposed to acute hypobaric hypoxia at high altitude was found to be related to increased plasma endothelin (ET)-1. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of ET-1 antagonism on pulmonary hypertension, renal water, and sodium balance under acute and prolonged exposure to high-altitude-associated hypoxia.

Methods and results: In a double-blind fashion, healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to receive bosentan (62.5 mg for 1 day and 125 mg for the following 2 days; n=10) or placebo (n=10) at sea level and after rapid ascent to high altitude (4559 m). At sea level, bosentan did not induce any significant changes in hemodynamic or renal parameters. At altitude, bosentan induced a significant reduction of systolic pulmonary artery pressure (21+/-7 versus 31+/-7 mm Hg, P<0.03) and a mild increase in arterial oxygen saturation versus placebo after just 1 day of treatment. However, both urinary volume and free water clearance (H2OCl/glomerular filtration rate) were significantly reduced versus placebo after 2 days of ET-1 antagonism (1100+/-200 versus 1610+/-590 mL; -6.7+/-3.5 versus -1.8+/-4.8 mL/min, P<0.05 versus placebo for both). Sodium clearance and segmental tubular function were not significantly affected by bosentan administration.

Conclusions: The present results indicate that the early beneficial effect of ET-1 antagonism on pulmonary blood pressure is followed by an impairment in volume adaptation. These findings must be considered for the prevention and treatment of acute mountain sickness.

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