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How does Asthma affect the heart?
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How does Asthma affect the heart?

My son has Left Ventricular Non-compaction with mild dilated Cardiomyopathy.  He has been stable for over 8 years with an EF of 55%.  Recently, he was diagnosed with Exercise Induced Asthma.  His Right Ventricular is now diminished slightly to 43%. His dr thinks this is secondary to the Asthma.  My question is,  how does Asthma affect the RV?  He is now taking a Bronchodilator when needed before exercise is started.  Will this help his heart?  Can the RV EF go back up?
Thank you, MP


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With asthma or any respiratory disorder the lung exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen is hampered, and the right ventricle is pumping against higher resistance and the heart needs to increase the cardiac output.  The overwork causes the heart to increase in size.  At first the enlargement in size will increase contractual strength which is compensatory, but if the underlying cause for the enlarged RV is not properly treated The RV will enlarge to a size that detrimental, and this will decrease contractual strength and eventually this will effect the left side of the by not supplying enough blood/oxygen from the lungs.

The volume of blood should be equal on both the left and right side; so the left side and the right side should have equal ejection fractions (EF) to maintain a balance.  An EF of 50 to 65% is considered normal.  The measurement is not static and varies some to maintain equilibrium  as does the heart rate.  There is a margin of error of about 10% of the estimated value. So your son's EF is marginally low.

Yes, exercise can help,  it will strengthen the heart muscle causing it to pump more effectively.  More efficiency of the cardiac system will increase the EF.  Bronchodilator will help the heart as well as it will provide less resistance for the heart to pump against.,,, more oxygen with less work for the heart.  

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