The left ventricle in emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

R. M. Senior, S. S. Lefrak, R. E. Kleiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


There's no doubt that chronic obstructive lung disease can have a disastrous impact on the heart's right ventricle--often producing hypertrophy or even failure--but its effects on the left ventricle are less clear. Some researchers speculate that disease of the right ventricle leads to disease of the left, while others consider the lung disease itself to be the more likely mechanism. Ordinarily, the left ventricle holds up well, even in far-advanced emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Recognizing the cases that do occur is important, however, since only minimal left ventricular failure can seriously compromise respiratory function. Treatment is the same as for left ventricular failure of any cause, but special precautions should be observed, particularly in prescribing diuretics. If frank pulmonary edema supervenes, mechanical ventilation and supplemental oxygen are necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-106
Number of pages4
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 1976


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