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High-altitude flatus expulsion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

High-altitude flatus expulsion (HAFE) is a gastrointestinal syndrome which involves the spontaneous passage of increased quantities of rectal gases at high altitudes.[1]


High-altitude flatus expulsion was first described by Joseph Hamel in c. 1820[2] and occasionally described afterward.[3] A landmark study of this phenomenon was published in 1981 by Paul Auerbach and York Miller.[1]

The feeling of fullness or need to expel brought on by this differential in atmospheric pressure has been verified by studies involving military pilots subjected to pressure changes simulating flight.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Auerbach Paul, Miller YE (February 1981). "High Altitude Flatus Expulsion (HAFE)". West. J. Med. 134 (2): 173–174. PMC 1272559. PMID 18748805.
  2. ^ Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. - High Altitude Medicine & Biology - 2(4):551
  3. ^ E.Y. Davis, FRCP(Ret), "Hafe In Nepal" West J Med. 1981 April; 134(4): 366, identifying "Flatulence Accompanying Rigorous Trekking," Kathmandu Medical Bulletin, 1972.
  4. ^ Greenwald AJ, Allen TH, Bancroft RW (February 1969). "Abdominal gas volume at altitude and at ground level". J Appl Physiol. 26 (2): 177–81. doi:10.1152/jappl.1969.26.2.177. PMID 5765206. Retrieved 2009-03-05.