15 February 2020 by Deborah Liptzin

Sex differences in pediatric HAPE

Sex differences in pediatric HAPE

Objective: To explore sex differences in pediatric High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)

Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review in children who presented to Children’s Hospital Colorado from 2004-2014 with a clinical diagnosis consistent with HAPE and a chest radiograph consistent with non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the demographics, presentations, treatment strategies, and follow-up.
Results: From 2004 to 2014, 50 children met criteria for HAPE. Median age at presentation was 10.2 years (range 0.6-19 years). Thirty patients had classic HAPE, 19 patients had re-entry HAPE, and one had high altitude resident pulmonary edema. Most (72%) patients were male. This sex difference was most notable in children older than 11 years of age (p = 0.004) and was driven by children with classic HAPE (p = 0.007) rather than re-entry HAPE (p = .25).

Conclusions: HAPE appears to be more common in post-pubescent males. Further studies should be done to confirm this sex difference, to determine if female sex hormones are protective against HAPE or male sex hormones are a risk factor for HAPE, and to explore underlying mechanisms to better inform treatment.

About the author


profile picture of Deborah Liptzin

Deborah Liptzin

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

University of Colorado School of Medicine

United States

Key Contributors

Ann M. Giesenhagen BS, Dunbar Ivy MD, John T. Brinton PhD, Maxene R. Meier MS, Jason P. Weinman MD, Deborah R. Liptzin MD Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO Department of Biostatistics and Informatics, School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO Department of Radiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO


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