Kai Ruppert1, Talissa A. Altes1, Jaime F. Mata1, Iulian C. Ruset2, 3, F. William Hersman2, 3, John P. Mugler, III1
1University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, United States; 2Xemed, LLC, Durham, NH, United States; 3University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, United States
A recent, autopsy-based study found surprisingly that most deaths in subjects with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may actually be due to cardiovascular causes. The purpose of our studies was an initial assessment of pulsatile blood flow in subjects with severe COPD as detected by Chemical Shift Saturation Recovery MR spectroscopy. We found that, compared to an age-matched second-hand smoker, the blood flow pulsations in the COPD patients was either absent or much less coherent. We hypothesize, that emphysematous lung tissue destruction, or regional pulmonary hypertension, in subjects with severe COPD reduces the coherence of the various regional pulsations.