Standard Article

Mechanics and Function of the Pulmonary Vasculature: Implications for Pulmonary Vascular Disease and Right Ventricular Function

  1. Steven Lammers1,2,
  2. Devon Scott2,
  3. Kendall Hunter2,
  4. Wei Tan2,
  5. Robin Shandas2,
  6. Kurt R. Stenmark1

Published Online: 1 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/cphy.c100070

Comprehensive Physiology

Comprehensive Physiology

How to Cite

Lammers, S., Scott, D., Hunter, K., Tan, W., Shandas, R. and Stenmark, K. R. 2012. Mechanics and Function of the Pulmonary Vasculature: Implications for Pulmonary Vascular Disease and Right Ventricular Function. Comprehensive Physiology. 2:295–319.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Departments of Cardiovascular Pulmonary Research

  2. 2

    Bioengineering, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colorado

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2012

Abstract

The relationship between cardiac function and the afterload against which the heart muscle must work to circulate blood throughout the pulmonary circulation is defined by a complex interaction between many coupled system parameters. These parameters range broadly and incorporate system effects originating primarily from three distinct locations: input power from the heart, hydraulic impedance from the large conduit pulmonary arteries, and hydraulic resistance from the more distal microcirculation. These organ systems are not independent, but rather, form a coupled system in which a change to any individual parameter affects all other system parameters. The result is a highly nonlinear system which requires not only detailed study of each specific component and the effect of disease on their specific function, but also requires study of the interconnected relationship between the microcirculation, the conduit arteries, and the heart in response to age and disease. Here, we investigate systems-level changes associated with pulmonary hypertensive disease progression in an effort to better understand this coupled relationship. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:295-319, 2012.