What Drives Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction?

What Drives Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction?


Our lab is really interested in understanding
what drives heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, or HFpEF. And the overall hypothesis is really that
obesity leads to systemic inflammation which can drive HFpEF in and of itself as a systemic
phenotype, and so our lab is really interested in trying to elucidate systemic phenotypes
and how they contribute to heart failure with preserved EF. One of the current projects that we’re really
excited about is that we’re looking at a retrospective cohort of about 9,000 patients that have been
seen at MGH, and have undergone right heart catheterization. And what we’re studying in particular now
is how obesity is related to pulmonary hypertension. Our findings show that there’s a very strong
association with obesity and pulmonary hypertension in specific, which we often see with HFpEF,
and so part of the ongoing research is now to try to understand mechanisms driving this
association. So what’s on the horizon for us now is that
we want to extend the findings in the cross-sectional study that we did showing a very strong association
between obesity and pulmonary hypertension. And we’re actually using cardiopulmonary exercise
testing to really bring out, or unmask, abnormal pulmonary vascular function in patients with
HFpEF. The other thing that we’re bringing together
with this physiologic study is we’re able to isolate endothelial cells, fresh from human
patients, and we’re able to study potential cellular mechanisms that are driving this
process. And so I think the ability to combine cell
based phenotyping with cardiopulmonary physiology, I think is a really powerful way to try to
better understand patients with HFpEF.

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