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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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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