Incidence of Left Ventricular Diastolic Dysfunction in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Author(s): Mary Grace Jacob1 , Mukundan Chelakkat

BACKGROUND Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity. Its effects extend beyond the respiratory system, to involve other organs like the heart and the brain. This study aimed to find out the relation between the severity of COPD as assessed by the CAT score and the echocardiographic abnormalities in subjects who did not have other comorbid conditions to influence the echocardiographic findings. METHODS The study population included 33 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COPD based on pulmonary function tests. The study was done in Government Medical College, Thrissur, which is a tertiary care centre. RESULTS The study established that left ventricular diastolic dysfunction is a close accompaniment of COPD, more so as the severity of COPD increases. Another interesting observation is that it is the left ventricle which is more commonly affected in subjects with COPD, than the right ventricle even in subjects with pulmonary artery hypertension. CONCLUSIONS Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction is a well-established accompaniment of COPD, the severity of which has a linear relationship with the severity of COPD. Thus it becomes important to rule out decompensated heart failure during exacerbations of COPD.