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Complications

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The complications of COPD include:

  • respiratory failure:
    • a late complication
    • defined by a PaO2 of less than 8 kPa (60mmHg) or a PaCO2 of greater than 7 kPa (55mmHg)

  • pulmonary artery hypertension:
    • caused by chronic alveolar hypoxia and hypercapnia lead to constriction of the pulmonary arterioles

  • cor pulmonale:
    • right heart failure
    • fluid retention
    • chronic hypoxia

  • polycythaemia
  • pneumothorax
  • weight loss
  • carcinoma of the bronchus

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