The Cardiopulmonary Centre
The Cardiopulmonary Centre is the new dedicated respiratory/cardiac assessment department within London Bridge Hospital. This unit is dedicated to the study of breathing - specifically dysfunction associated with breathing problems, including shortness of breath, exercise intolerance and compromised sleep.
If you suffer from these symptoms – or from fatigue, chest tightness or lack of energy - we provide the gold standard examinations. The Cardiopulmonary Centre at London Bridge Hospital offers full-service support from initial consultation through to diagnosis and treatment.
Our approach is to provide our patients with recognised and ratified service to the highest clinical standards. Our nurses, physiologists and doctors offer professional, friendly assistance using the latest medical equipment, with immediate reporting and access to other consultant physicians in a wide variety of clinical fields, should they be required. We are a dedicated team drawn together from the world-leading Cardiology and Respiratory Departments of London Bridge Hospital.
Cardiopulmonary physiology is a highly specialised field. We make the process of getting the answer for the cause of your symptoms straightforward through:
- Extensive experience in lung function, cardiopulmonary and sleep study work
- Ratified, safe tests
- A single unit service from initial consultation to final treatment
- Integration within London Bridge Hospital
The Centre draws on the world-renowned expertise and state-of-the-art equipment offered by this superb hospital. London Bridge Hospital is a private hospital with an international reputation for excellence in healthcare.
What is Cardiopulmonary?
"Cardiopulmonary" is defined as 'pertaining to the heart and lungs' (Oxford English Dictionary). This definition covers all of the services we do at The Cardiopulmonary Centre. A cardiopulmonary service is a non-invasive assessment of the heart, the lungs, the cardiovascular system (the blood vessels throughout the body) and the muscular system. All of our tests involve the patient wearing some medical monitoring equipment, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), a pulse oximeter (for measuring oxygen in the blood supply) or a face mask (for analysing breathing patterns). The tests often involve patients performing certain actions, such as deep breathing, exercising, or even sleeping.
- Anaerobic Power
The peak power, average power and fatigue rate measured during a 30-second all-out sprint on a cycle ergometer. This is a critical measurement for athletes in explosive sports where power and the ability to sprint are critical factors.
- Anaerobic Threshold
One of our most important measurements. This is the exercise intensity ABOVE which the rate of oxygen consumption cannot match the rate of energy requirement, with the effect of rapidly inducing fatigue and limiting further exercise. It is a sensitive measure of the cardiopulmonary status.
- Diastolic dysfunction
The diastolic phase of the heart pumping action is the 'resting' phase, where the heart is re-filling with blood before the following beat. During diastolic dysfunction the ventricle heart chambers fill normally, but at an abnormal high pressure - leading on to heart failure.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a general term which includes the conditions chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is most commonly caused by smoking. Once you give up smoking, you gradually reduce the chances of getting COPD - and you slow down its progress if you already have it. Occupational factors, such as coal dust, and some inherited problems can also cause COPD. Cough, phlegm and shortness of breath are the common symptoms of COPD.
- Critical Power
This is the maximum sustainable power output for high-level endurance activity. It is performed over a set time (normally 30 minutes, though this is adaptable) and relates to real-world application of certain physiological principles.
- Myocardial dyskinesis
Asyschronous contraction of the myocardium. As exercise workload increases, the heart becomes a less effective 'pump', meaning blood flow to the muscles does not match blood requirements from the exercising muscles.
- Myocardial ischemia
Insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle. This is usually caused by a critical coronary artery obstruction. The heart needs its own blood supply to work efficiently, if that blood flow is reduced or cannot increase on-demand, the heart will become a less efficient 'pump'.
- Nocturnal Polysomnography
This is the technical term for in-hospital sleep studies, involving measurement of EEG, ECG, EMG, oxygen pulse and saturation. This test is instrumental in defining obstructive sleep apnoeas - where patients stop breathing whilst asleep.
Body Plethysmography is the measurement of the mechanical work of breathing. It specifically measures breathing resistances in comparison to airflow. It also provides vital diagnostic data on static lung volumes.
- Psychogenic dyspnea
This is shortness of breath (dyspnea) which is emotional rather than physiological in origin.
Shortness of breath on exercise. Exercise causes deeper breathing, this is normal, but SOBOE is when increased breathing cannot eliminate out the feeling of breathlessness during activity.
- Vascular occlusive disease
Peripheral Arterial Occlusive Disease is characterised by pain and discomfort in extremity muscle groups. This is normally caused by arterial stenoses reducing blood flow to the muscles, ensuring claudication symptoms.
Emphysema is a chronic lung disease, whereby walls of the air sacs (alveoli) in the lung weaken and disintegrate, leaving behind abnormally large air spaces that remain filled with air even when the patient breathes out. The most common symptoms of emphysema are shortness of breath (dyspnoea), coughing, fatigue and weight loss. Emphysema often coexists with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Sarcoidosis is a disease that leads to tiny lumps (called granulomas) developing in and on your body. Sarcoidosis causes scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs that gets worse over time. It can also cause very bad skin rashes and can affect other organs including the heart and brain. The causes of sarcoidosis are currently unknown. Research is ongoing, but it is believed that it may be caused by something in the environment. It affects people whose immune system does not work properly - which is probably because of their genes. Over the years, Sarcoidosis causes coughing and shortness of breath as the lungs become more and more inflamed and their ability to function deteriorates.