Cor pulmonale is the term used to describe hypertrophy and dilatation of the right ventricle as the result of lung disease. Although the causes of cor pulmonale are diverse, they have as their common effect, the production of alveolar hypoxia producing pulmonary arterial vasoconstriction and/or an anatomical reduction of the pulmonary vascular bed. When these changes are severe and bilateral, pulmonary arterial hypertension develops and this is responsible for the pathogenesis of cor pulmonale. Passive pulmonary arterial hypertension secondary to left atrial hypertension (e.g., left ventricular failure or mitral valve disease) and hyperkinetic pulmonary hypertension secondary to left-to-right shunts (ASD, VSD etc.) are specifically excluded from this definition. Malfunction of the lungs may not only be because of parenchymal disease but also a result of failure of the bellows action of the chest or ventilatory drive by the central nervous system.
KeywordsPulmonary Hypertension Mitral Stenosis Main Pulmonary Artery Mitral Valve Disease Congestive Cardiac Failure
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