What is the role of lab testing in the diagnosis of cor pulmonale?

Updated: Dec 15, 2017
  • Author: Derek Leong, MD; Chief Editor: Henry H Ooi, MD, MRCPI  more...
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Answer

Answer

Laboratory investigations are directed toward defining the potential underlying etiologies as well as evaluating the complications of cor pulmonale. In specific instances, appropriate laboratory studies may include the following:

  • Hematocrit for polycythemia, which can be a consequence of underlying lung disease but can also increase pulmonary arterial pressure by increasing viscosity

  • Serum alpha1-antitrypsin, if deficiency is suspected

  • Antinuclear antibody (ANA) level for collagen vascular disease, and anti-SCL-70 antibodies in scleroderma

  • Coagulations studies to evaluate hypercoagulability states (eg, serum levels of proteins S and C, antithrombin III, factor V Leyden, anticardiolipin antibodies, homocysteine)


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