Activity-related dyspnea appears to be the earliest and dominant symptom limiting exercise in the majority of patients afflicted by pulmonary arterial hypertension. This symptom progresses relentlessly with time leading invariably to avoidance of activity with consequent skeletal muscle deconditioning and poor perceived quality of life. Unfortunately, effective management of this disabling symptom awaits a better understanding of its underlying physiology. A growing body of evidence have highlighted that patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension may present with respiratory muscle weakness and abnormal lung function/respiratory mechanics. Despite these findings, to date little is known about the potential contribution of abnormalities in respiratory mechanics and ventilatory muscle function to dyspnea causation during physical exercise in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. This is, therefore, the main focus of the present study, with the aim of identifying potential unexplored physiological mechanisms that can be targeted for therapeutic manipulation.
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Funding SchemeMC-IRG - International Re-integration Grants (IRG)
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