Cor pulmonale - Overview
Right-sided heart failure
Definition of Cor pulmonale:
Cor pulmonale is failure of the right side of the heart brought on by long-term high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries and right ventricle of the heart.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:
Normally, the left side of the heart produces a higher blood pressure in order to pump blood to the body. The right side of the heart pumps blood through the lungs under much lower pressure.
High blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs is called pulmonary hypertension. The right side of the heart has a harder time pumping blood against these higher pressures. If this high pressure is present for a longer period of time, it puts a strain on the right side of the heart, leading to cor pulmonale.
Almost any chronic lung disease or condition causing prolonged low blood oxygen levels can lead to cor pulmonale. A few of these causes include:
- Reviewed last on: 5/1/2011
- Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
McGlothlin D, De Marco T. Cor pulmonale. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al. Murray & Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 56.
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