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Pulmonary Circulation in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Bratel, Tomas MD, PhD

Clinical Pulmonary Medicine: May 2010 - Volume 17 - Issue 3 - p 111-116
doi: 10.1097/CPM.0b013e3181da9521
Obstructive Airways Disease
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In this review article, the disturbances of the pulmonary circulation caused by chronic airway obstruction, hyperinflation, hypoxemia, and hypercapnia in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), patients with COPD, overlap syndrome and patients with obesity hypoventilation syndrome, are described. We also give suggestions on how to treat, manage and monitor these disturbances. The article is based on clinical research and experience, as well as a review of the literature, regarding the physiological basis for, and the clinical appearance of, and management of, the changes in the pulmonary circulation caused by COPD.

The patophysiology behind the circulatory disturbances in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is reviewed. Furthermore, the clinical presentation of these disturbances in general and pulmonary hypertension in particular is described as well as suggestions regarding investigatory procedures, clinical management, and possible treatment.

From the Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Address correspondence to: Tomas Bratel, MD, PhD, Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital at Solna, S-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail: Tomas.bratel@karolinska.se.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.