In This Video
- Jennifer Ho, MD, is a cardiologist in the Heart Failure and Transplantation section.
- Here she discusses her team’s recent work showing strong association between obesity and pulmonary hypertension, and their ongoing research to understand the mechanisms driving this association.
In this video she discusses her team’s recent work showing strong association between obesity and pulmonary hypertension, and their ongoing research to understand the mechanisms driving this association.
Our lab is really interested in understanding what drives heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, or HFpEF. And the overall hypothesis is really that obesity leads to systemic inflammation which can drive HFpEF in and of itself as a systemic phenotype, and so our lab is really interested in trying to elucidate systemic phenotypes and how they contribute to heart failure with preserved EF.
One of the current projects that we’re really excited about is that we’re looking at a retrospective cohort of about 9,000 patients that have been seen at MGH, and have undergone right heart catheterization. And what we’re studying in particular now is how obesity is related to pulmonary hypertension. Our findings show that there’s a very strong association with obesity and pulmonary hypertension in specific, which we often see with HFpEF, and so part of the ongoing research is now to try to understand mechanisms driving this association.
So what’s on the horizon for us now is that we want to extend the findings in the cross-sectional study that we did showing a very strong association between obesity and pulmonary hypertension. And we’re actually using cardiopulmonary exercise testing to really bring out, or unmask, abnormal pulmonary vascular function in patients with HFpEF. The other thing that we’re bringing together with this physiologic study is we’re able to isolate endothelial cells fresh from human patients, and we’re able to study potential cellular mechanisms that are driving this process. And so I think the ability to combine cell based phenotyping with cardiopulmonary physiology I think is a really powerful way to try to better understand patients with HFpEF.