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Chronic lung diseases (CLDs) such as COPD, emphysema, interstitial lung fibrosis impair airflow, alter lung elastance, and impact pulmonary vascular hemodynamics which could result in ventricle dysfunction. These pulmonary diseases can lead to complications such as pulmonary hypertension which can worsen the prognosis of CLD.

Airway Physiology and Cardiovascular Hemodynamics

There is currently a research gap in the interplay between vasculature and airways in CLDs. Cardiovascular and pulmonary studies are typically performed independently to investigate hemodynamics and airway physiology, respectively. Components of pulmonary vascular and airways physiology are both affected in CLD, sharing impaired functional tissue repair in vascular and epithelial compartments. The concurrent study of cardiovascular hemodynamics and lung function in parallel will unravel mechanistic cross-talk along the progression of both CLD and vascular dysfunction.

“To date, functional endpoints in murine models of chronic lung disease have typically been limited to separately measuring airway and lung parenchyma physiology. These approaches may be lengthy and require a large number of animals per experiment” 


The Petrache Lab set out to optimize a protocol to measure lung function with cardiovascular hemodynamics in tandem using the same subject. The flexiVent system was used to calculate detailed respiratory mechanics measurements, including: Airway Physiology & Cardiovascular Hemodynamics

  • Inspiratory capacity
  • Total Resistance, Elastance, and Compliance of the respiratory system
  • Central vs Peripheral airway resistances
  • Tissue elastance
  • Pressure Volume Loops including quasi-static compliance

Following flexiVent analysis, the researchers went on to obtain data on cardiovascular hemodynamics on the same animal via an open-chest, solid-state catheterization procedure of the right ventricle, left ventricle, pulmonary and systemic arteries.

Kopf et al (2020) found no significant differences between hemodynamics group vs lung mechanics prior to hemodynamics group in terms of physiological and histological endpoints. The results of these combined studies validate that performing lung mechanics prior to hemodynamics procedures did not impact cardiac function.

Collecting information on both compartments from the same subject without impacting the findings for either testing modality will shed light on further mechanistic interplay between vascular and airway physiology. Learn more about the technical as well as physiological descriptions of the flexiVent here.

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Read the full publication from the Petrache Lab here:

Kopf, K. W., Harral, J. W., Staker, E. A., Summers, M. E., Petrache, I., Kheyfets, V., … Majka, S. M. (2020). Optimization of combined measures of airway physiology and cardiovascular hemodynamics in mice. Pulmonary Circulation. 

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