The lungs are the primary organs affected in LHD (left heart disease). Increased left atrial pressure leads to pulmonary alveolar–capillary stress failure, resulting in cycles of alveolar wall injury and repair. The reparative process causes the proliferation of MYFs (myofibroblasts) with fibrosis and extracellular matrix deposition, resulting in thickening of the alveolar wall. Although the resultant reduction in vascular permeability is initially protective against pulmonary oedema, the process becomes maladaptive causing a restrictive lung syndrome with impaired gas exchange. This pathological process may also contribute to PH (pulmonary hypertension) due to LHD. Few clinical trials have specifically evaluated lung structural remodelling and the effect of related therapies in LHD. Currently approved treatment for chronic HF (heart failure) may have direct beneficial effects on lung structural remodelling. In the future, novel therapies specifically targeting the remodelling processes may potentially be utilized. In the present review, we summarize data supporting the clinical importance and pathophysiological mechanisms of lung structural remodelling in LHD and propose that this pathophysiological process should be explored further in pre-clinical studies and future therapeutic trials.

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