PhD Studentship: Physiological implications of pulmonary oedema in health and disease
Heart-failure is a complex clinical disorder in which the heart loses its ability to effectively pump blood around the body. The principal symptom of heart-failure is a dramatic reduction in the ability to perform mild exercise or routine day-today activities (e.g., walking to the shops). This is likely due to increases in the perceived difficulty to breathe and heightened symptoms of fatigue. Our recent research has shown that another complication of heart-failure is the accumulation of fluid in and around the lungs; this is known as pulmonary oedema. Whether pulmonary oedema contributes to the symptoms that ultimately lead to exercise cessation in heart-failure is unknown.
This project will use a multidisciplinary experimental (cardiopulmonary exercise testing, artificial nerve stimulation, oesophageal catheters, and ultrasonography) and computer modelling approach to investigate the effect of an experimental model of pulmonary oedema on: 1) breathing mechanics, lung volume regulation and ventilatory constraint; 2) exercise-induced locomotor and respiratory muscle fatigue; 3) exertional symptoms of breathlessness and fatigue; and 4) exercise tolerance, in healthy humans.