COPD: pulmonary vascular volume associated with cardiac structure and function

Lisa Steen Duus*, Ditte Vesterlev, Anne Bjerg Nielsen, Mats Højbjerg Lassen, Pradeesh Sivapalan, Charlotte Suppli Ulrik, Therese Lapperre, Andrea Browatzki, Rubén San José Estépar, Pietro Nardelli, Jens-Ulrik Staehr Jensen, Raúl San José Estépar, Tor Biering-Sørensen

*Corresponding author for this work


BACKGROUND: Early recognition of cardiac dysfunction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may prevent future cardiac impairment and improve prognosis. Quantitative assessment of subsegmental and segmental vessel volume by Computed Tomographic (CT) imaging can provide a surrogate of pulmonary vascular remodeling. We aimed to examine the relationship between lung segmental- and subsegmental vessel volume, and echocardiographic measures of cardiac structure and function in patients with COPD.

METHODS: We studied 205 participants with COPD, included in a large cohort study of cardiovascular disease in COPD patients. Participants had an available CT scan and echocardiogram. Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms calculated the subsegmental vessel fraction as the vascular volume in vessels below 10 mm2 in cross-sectional area, indexed to total intrapulmonary vessel volume. Linear regressions were conducted, and standardized ß-coefficients were calculated. Scatterplots were created to visualize the continuous correlations between the vessel fractions and echocardiographic parameters.

RESULTS: We found that lower subsegmental vessel fraction and higher segmental vessel volume were correlated with higher left ventricular (LV) mass, LV diastolic dysfunction, and inferior vena cava (IVC) dilatation. Subsegmental vessel fraction was correlated with right ventricular (RV) remodeling, while segmental vessel fraction was correlated with higher pulmonary pressure. Measures of LV mass and right atrial pressure displayed the strongest correlations with pulmonary vasculature measures.

CONCLUSION: Pulmonary vascular remodeling in patients with COPD, may negatively affect cardiac structure and function. AI-identified remodeling in pulmonary vasculature may provide a tool for early identification of COPD patients at higher risk for cardiac impairment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe international journal of cardiovascular imaging
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)579-589
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/complications
  • Vascular Remodeling


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