Encyclopedia of Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

2009 Edition
| Editors: Florian Lang

Cor Pulmonale

  • Michael L. S. Ma
  • Patrick T. S. Ma
  • Alexander K. C. Leung
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-29676-8_410



Definition and Characteristics

Cor pulmonale (CPM) is defined as the enlargement of the right ventricle (RV) and deterioration of RV function that is due to pulmonary hypertension (PH) caused by diseases of the thorax, lungs, pulmonary ventilation or vasculature. It can lead to RV failure, with an elevation of transmural RV end-diastolic pressure. Symptoms of CPM include fatigue, lethargy, dypsnoea on exertion, tachypnoea, chest pain, exertional syncope, dyspnoea at rest, nonproductive cough, haemoptysis, hoarseness, and anorexia. Nonexertional chest pain can be secondary to acute dilatation of the root of the pulmonary artery. Exertional chest pain in the absence of epicardial coronary artery disease can be secondary to endocardial ischaemia induced by hypoxaemia and increased transmural wall tension, or by dynamic compression of the left main coronary artery by an enlarged pulmonary artery. Exertional syncope is likely a result of the inability to increase cardiac output...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael L. S. Ma
    • 1
  • Patrick T. S. Ma
    • 2
  • Alexander K. C. Leung
    • 3
  1. 1.Trinity CollegeDublinIreland
  2. 2.Heart Health Institute and Department of Cardiac ScienceThe University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, Alberta Children’s HospitalThe University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada