Ambient hypoxia impairs the airway epithelial Na+ transport, which is crucial in lung edema reabsorption. Whether chronic systemic hypoxemia affects airway Na+ transport has remained largely unknown. Kaskinen et al have therefore investigated whether chronic systemic hypoxemia in children with congenital heart defect affects airway epithelial Na+ transport, Na+ transporter-gene expression, and short-term lung edema accumulation.
They found that the impaired airway epithelial amiloride-sensitive Na+ transport activity in profoundly hypoxemic children with cyanotic congenital heart defect may hinder defense against lung edema after cardiac surgery.
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