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      Characteristics of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension Assessed by Echocardiography in a Three-Year Observational Cohort Study

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          Abstract

          Background

          Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a major comorbidity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the association of PH detected by echocardiography and COPD-related outcome in longitudinal follow-up has not been elucidated. In this study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between clinical characteristics of COPD patients with PH detected by echocardiography and various outcome parameters such as COPD exacerbation and health status over a three-year observation period.

          Methods

          In this observational study, we analyzed patients with COPD who underwent chest computed tomography and echocardiography at baseline (n = 183).

          Results

          The prevalence of PH was 21.9% (40 patients). The median estimated systolic pulmonary artery pressure in patients with PH was 38.8 mmHg. COPD patients with PH were older, had a lower body mass index, scored worse in the COPD Assessment Test and St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire, and exhibited a lower diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide in comparison to patients without PH. In computed tomography images, the percentages of low-attenuation areas (LAA%) and interstitial abnormalities were higher in COPD patients with PH than in those without PH. Higher values for LAA% (LAA ≥ 30%) and interstitial abnormalities independently increased the risk of PH. The ratio of main pulmonary diameter to aortic artery diameter was significantly correlated with estimated systolic pulmonary artery pressure. In the follow-up analysis, the frequency of exacerbations in three years was significantly higher in patients with PH compared to patients without PH.

          Conclusion

          In this study, we identified the clinical characteristics of COPD patients with PH detected by echocardiography. The presence of PH assessed by echocardiography was related to future COPD exacerbations and closely related to radiographical emphysema.

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          Most cited references 41

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          Inhibition of VEGF receptors causes lung cell apoptosis and emphysema.

          Pulmonary emphysema, a significant global health problem, is characterized by a loss of alveolar structures. Because VEGF is a trophic factor required for the survival of endothelial cells and is abundantly expressed in the lung, we hypothesized that chronic blockade of VEGF receptors could induce alveolar cell apoptosis and emphysema. Chronic treatment of rats with the VEGF receptor blocker SU5416 led to enlargement of the air spaces, indicative of emphysema. The VEGF receptor inhibitor SU5416 induced alveolar septal cell apoptosis but did not inhibit lung cell proliferation. Viewed by angiography, SU5416-treated rat lungs showed a pruning of the pulmonary arterial tree, although we observed no lung infiltration by inflammatory cells or fibrosis. SU5416 treatment led to a decrease in lung expression of VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2), phosphorylated VEGFR-2, and Akt-1 in the complex with VEGFR-2. Treatment with the caspase inhibitor Z-Asp-CH(2)-DCB prevented SU5416-induced septal cell apoptosis and emphysema development. These findings suggest that VEGF receptor signaling is required for maintenance of the alveolar structures and, further, that alveolar septal cell apoptosis contributes to the pathogenesis of emphysema.
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            Echocardiographic assessment of pulmonary hypertension in patients with advanced lung disease.

            Doppler echocardiography is commonly used to estimate systolic pulmonary artery pressure and to diagnose pulmonary hypertension, but data relating to its utility in patients with advanced lung disease are limited. In a cohort study of 374 lung transplant candidates, the performance characteristics of echocardiography compared with right heart catheterization in the determination of systolic pulmonary artery pressure and diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension were investigated. The prevalence of pulmonary hypertension was 25% in the study population. Estimation of systolic pulmonary artery pressure by echocardiography was possible in 166 patients (44%). The correlation between systolic pulmonary artery pressure estimated by echocardiography and measured by cardiac catheterization was good (r = 0.69, p < 0.0001). However, 52% of pressure estimations were found to be inaccurate (more than 10 mm Hg difference compared with measured pressure), and 48% of patients were misclassified as having pulmonary hypertension by echocardiography. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of systolic pulmonary artery pressure estimation for diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension were 85%, 55%, 52%, and 87%, respectively. In conclusion, despite a statistically significant correlation with directly measured values, estimation of systolic pulmonary artery pressure by echocardiography is frequently inaccurate in patients with advanced lung disease and leads to considerable overdiagnosis of pulmonary hypertension.
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              Computed tomographic measurements of airway dimensions and emphysema in smokers. Correlation with lung function.

              Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by the presence of airflow obstruction caused by emphysema or airway narrowing, or both. Low attenuation areas (LAA) on computed tomography (CT) have been shown to represent macroscopic or microscopic emphysema, or both. However CT has not been used to quantify the airway abnormalities in smokers with or without airflow obstruction. In this study, we used CT to evaluate both emphysema and airway wall thickening in 114 smokers. The CT measurements revealed that a decreased FEV(1) (%predicted) is associated with an increase of airway wall area and an increase of emphysema. Although both airway wall thickening and emphysema (LAA) correlated with measurements of lung function, stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the combination of airway and emphysema measurements improved the estimate of pulmonary function test abnormalities. We conclude that both CT measurements of airway dimensions and emphysema are useful and complementary in the evaluation of the lung of smokers.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                COPD
                copd
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove
                1176-9106
                1178-2005
                03 March 2020
                2020
                : 15
                : 487-499
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine , Tokyo 160-8582, Japan
                [2 ]Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Keiyu Hospital , Yokohama, Kanagawa 220-0012, Japan
                [3 ]Department of Laboratory Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine , Tokyo, Japan
                [4 ]Center for Preventive Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine , Tokyo 160-8582, Japan
                [5 ]Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Saitama Medical University Hospital , Saitama 350-0495, Japan
                [6 ]Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine , Isehara-Shi, Kanagawa 259-1193, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Shotaro Chubachi Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine , 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo160-8582, JapanTel +81-3-5363-3406Fax +81-3-3353-2502 Email bachibachi472000@live.jp
                Article
                230952
                10.2147/COPD.S230952
                7060780
                © 2020 Nakayama et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 7, Tables: 4, References: 55, Pages: 13
                Categories
                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                echocardiography, comorbidity, copd, pulmonary hypertension

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