Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Cor pulmonale

Synonym(s): Pulmonary heart disease

Contributor(s): Serena Brownlie, Phil Fox, Philip K Nicholls

Introduction

  • Quite rare in the cat.
  • Cause: pulmonary hypertension.
  • Signs: usually few clinical signs; in animals right-sided heart failure is rare.
  • Diagnosis: right heart enlargement (radiography, ultrasonography, ECG) and demonstration of respiratory disease.
  • Treatment: manage underlying cause and symptomatic only.
  • Prognosis: depends on severity of cardiorespiratory changes.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Arises as a result of increased pulmonary artery pressure due to changes in pulmonary vascular bed:
  • Vasoconstriction:
    • Alveolar hypoxemia due to any chronic respiratory disease.
    • Release of vasoactive amines, eg feline asthma Allergic bronchitis.
  • Obstruction:
  • Obliteration:
    • Interstitial pulmonary fibrosis.
    • Diffuse emphysema (very rare).

Predisposing factors

General

  • Vasoconstriction of pulmonary vasculature due to vasoactive amine release, eg mast cell degranulation.

Pathophysiology

  • Right ventricular enlargement as a result of respiratory disease.
  • In some cases may be the first indicator that severe pulmonary disease exists.
  • Increased pulmonary vasculature resistance   →   pulmonary hypertension.
  • This increases the work that the right heart has to do   →   compensatory hypertrophy of the right ventricle.
  • If hypertension persists then right-sided failure ultimately develops.

Timecourse

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Sottiaux J & Franck M (1999) Pulmonary embolism and cor pulmonale in a cat. JSAP 40 (2), 88-91 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Padrid P A (1995) In: Manual of canine and feline cardiology. pp 413-422.


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