Correlation between COPD and pulmonary hypertension

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för medicinsk biokemi och mikrobiologi

Abstract: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is in up to 90 % of all cases caused by smoking. COPD often has negative effects on circulation, effects that first and foremost can be observed as respiratory insufficiency. Reduced function of the right ventricle of the heart is common in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, especially if they also have hypoxemi; insufficient levels of oxygen in blood or tissue. The incidence of this cardiac complication reduces the survival time. It is possible in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that the pressure in the pulmonary circulation gradually increases resulting in pulmonary hypertension followed by a slow adaptation of the right ventricle by hypertrophy of the myocardium. To investigate a correlation between COPD and pulmonary hypertension COPD patients were subjected to spirometry and ultrasound on heart. Of 14 examined patients 5 had developed pulmonary hypertension. A correlation between obstruction in the COPD- patients and an increase in left ventricular diameter was found. DLCO (diffusion capacity) of the lungs is directly connected to PA (pulmonary arterial pressure). The lower DLCO, the higher risk to develop pulmonary hypertension. However, we could not find a significant correlation between COPD and pulmonary hypertension in this study even if most patients had a decreased DLCO.

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