This is heart disease secondary to disorder of respiration. The chronic Hypoxia (low oxygen tension) of these disorders includes a reactive narrowing of the pulmonary vessels. Some of these disorders are also associated with high pressures within the air sacs of the lung (aeroli) due to air trapping and with loss of living tissue and reduced pulmonary vessels. This distribution increases pulmonary vascular resistance, raising the pulmonary blood pressure and eventually producing right heart failure. The pulmonary hypertension is seldom severe in pulmonary disease except when there is super assed respiratory infection. Chronic obstructive bronchitis, emphysema, and the Pickwickian Syndrome are examples of conditions that can produce cor pulmonale.
Acute management centres on treating the superadded infection and worsened hypoxia and carbon dioxide retention. Prevention is largely a matter of avoidance of cigarette smoking and dusty atmospheres, the condition of obesity and the prompt treatment of respiratory infections.