The exact prevalence of pulmonary hypertension (PH) and cor pulmonale (CP) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is unknown, and varies considerably from 20–91%. Usually, mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP) does not exceed 30 mmHg, and PH is not severe. However, PH and CP are important predictors of mortality in COPD and contribute to disability in this disease. Many factors contribute to the development of PH in chronic lung disease, including reduction of the pulmonary vascular cross-sectional area due to parenchymal loss and accompanying hypoxia, effects of abnormal pulmonary mechanics due to hyperinflation, but also vascular remodeling processes. So far, PH associated with chronic lung disease cannot be treated medically. Therefore, it is indicated to treat the underlying pulmonary disease. Patients with severe PH should be referred to centers experienced in the management of PH and enrollment in clinical trials should be considered. Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) theoretically further increases pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) by reducing the vascular bed when resecting lung tissue, however, this might be compensated by better pulmonary mechanics through reduction of hyperinflation, which will be discussed in the present article.
Keywords: Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS); pulmonary hypertension (PH); emphysema; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); cor pulmonale (CP)