Heart-Lung-Interaction

Heart and lung diseases are important causes of morbidity and mortality. Both diseases have a high prevalence and occur with a substantial overlap. This raises the question whether the coexistence is based on common shared risk factors or whether there are other links beyond. While an increased right heart load is well understood in various pulmonary diseases, dedicated changes of the left heart are largely unknown.

It is thus aimed to examine interactions between the lung and the left heart in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Therefore, heart imaging based on echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) is used to assess systolic and diastolic cardiac function, heart size and morphology. Left ventricular wall stress is calculated using a thick-walled sphere model of the left ventricle.

Causes
– Airway resistance
– Hyperinflation
– Vascular resistance

Consequences
– Intrathoracic pressure
– Cardiac distending forces
– Venous return

Beside monocentric studies, also large data sets from the German COPD cohort COSYCONET, a prospective, observational, multicenter cohort study in patients with COPD that is being conducted in major clinics and pulmonology centers across Germany, are examined.