Ulrik Winning Iepsen

Ulrik Winning Iepsen

Clinical Associate Professor

Primary fields of research

1. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is not only a lung disease but also affects cardiovascular and skeletal muscle function. Thus, COPD is associated with muscle dysfunction that presents as low oxidative capacity, anaerobic fiber dominance, reduced capillarization and atrophy in leg muscles. One of the mechanisms behind these maladaptations could be chronic hypoxia of the muscle. In a series of studies in moderate to severe COPD, we have found that skeletal muscle blood flow regulation is impaired during exercise and that exercise training can counteract the anaerobic muscle profile and hypoperfusion. In severely hypoxemic patients with end-stage COPD, we are currently investigating their skeletal muscle adaptations to normoxia after a lung transplantation. 

2. Lactate as biomarker for mitochondrial function in sepsis. In contrary to evidence from exercise physiology, elevated plasma lactate (> 4 mmol/L) has commonly been interpreted as a sign of tissue hypoxia or organ hypoperfusion by clinicians and treated with iv. fluid resuscitation. Importantly, elevated plasma lactate is linked to mortality in septic patients.

3. The role of T-type calcium channels in elderly human vascular function. Endothelial dysfunction develops with age and may precede cardiovascular disease. Animal data suggest that T-type calcium channels play an important role in endothelial function, but data from healthy elderly humans without cardiovascular disease are lacking.

ID: 11722027