Exertional dyspnoea with increased filling pressure - Mechanisms and treatment strategies (2007–2009)
Patients with early heart disease often present with shortness of breath with exercise, as myocardial reserve at that stage is usually sufficient to maintain normal function at rest . Indeed, much myocardial dysfunction may originate from the modern lifestyle, including inactivity, obesity, the metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. The potential benefits of making a definitive early diagnosis are large, because it seems more likely that an impact can be made on the disease process (and therefore, outcome) than with late stage disease. Current treatment strategies are expensive and because they are directed at end-organ damage (heart failure, heart attacks etc), rather ineffective. This multispecialty, multidisciplinary group will undertake a series of unique studies aimed at identifying early cardiovascular disease. The strategy will involve detection of abnormal filling behaviour at stress echocardiography, with randomization into longterm and short-term trials to examine various therapeutic strategies. Sensitive new cardiovascular imaging techniques will be used to detect preclinical abnormalities in the structure and function of the heart and vasculature, facilitating a mechanistic understanding of the process of increasing filling pressure with exercise.