Pulmonary hyperinflation due to gas trapping and pulmonary artery size: The MESA COPD Study

Hooman D. Poor, Steven M. Kawut, Chia Ying Liu, Benjamin M. Smith, Eric A. Hoffman, João A. Lima, Bharath Ambale-Venkatesh, Erin D. Michos, Martin R. Prince, R. Graham Barr

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5 Scopus citations


Background Pulmonary hypertension is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Since pulmonary artery (PA) size increases in pulmonary hypertension, we measured PA cross-sectional area using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to test the hypothesis that pulmonary hyperinflation due to gas trapping is associated with PA cross-sectional area in COPD. Methods The MESA COPD Study recruited participants with COPD and controls from two population- based cohort studies ages 50-79 years with 10 or more pack-years and free of clinical cardiovascular disease. Body plethysmography was performed according to standard criteria. Cardiac MRI was performed at functional residual capacity to measure the cross-sectional area of the main PA. Percent emphysema was defined as the percentage of lung voxels less than -950 Hounsfield units as assessed via x-ray computed tomography. Analyses were adjusted for age, gender, height, weight, race-ethnicity, the forced expiratory volume in one second, smoking status, pack-years, lung function, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, left ventricular ejection fraction and percent emphysema. Results Among 106 participants, mean residual volume was 1.98±0.71 L and the mean PA crosssectional area was 7.23±1.72 cm2. A one standard deviation increase in residual volume was independently associated with an increase in main PA cross-sectional area of 0.55 cm2 (95% CI 0.18 to 0.92; p = 0.003). In contrast, there was no evidence for an association with percent emphysema or total lung capacity. Conclusion Increased residual volume was associated with a larger PA in COPD, suggesting that gas trapping may contribute to pulmonary hypertension in COPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0176812
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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