Mechanisms of right heart disease in pulmonary hypertension (2017 Grover Conference Series)

PVRI Member Authors: Serpil Erzurum, Kewal Asosingh


Current dogma is that pathological hypertrophy of the right ventricle is a direct consequence of pulmonary vascular remodeling. However, progression of right ventricle dysfunction is not always lung-dependent. Increased afterload caused by pulmonary vascular remodeling initiates the right ventricle hypertrophy, but determinants leading to adaptive or maladaptive hypertrophy and failure remain unknown. Ischemia in a hypertrophic right ventricle may directly contribute to right heart failure. Rapidly enlarging cardiomyocytes switch from aerobic to anaerobic energy generation resulting in cell growth under relatively hypoxic conditions. Cardiac muscle reacts to an increased afterload by over-activation of the sympathetic system and uncoupling and downregulation of β-adrenergic receptors. Recent studies suggest that β blocker therapy in PH is safe, well tolerated, and preserves right ventricle function and cardiac output by reducing right ventricular glycolysis. Fibrosis, an evolutionary conserved process in host defense and wound healing, is dysregulated in maladaptive cardiac tissue contributing directly to right ventricle failure. Despite several mechanisms having been suggested in right heart disease, the causes of maladaptive cardiac remodeling remain unknown and require further research.

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Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Pulmonary Hypertension
Right Ventricle: Structure, Function and Dysfunction

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Pulmonary Circulation Vol 8: No 1 cover image

March 2018

Pulmonary Circulation Vol 8: No 1

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