Right heart failure overview

Jump to: navigation, search

Right heart failure Microchapters

Home

Patient Information

Overview

Classification

Pathophysiology

Causes

Differentiating Right heart failure from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors

Natural History, Complications and Prognosis

Diagnosis

History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings

Electrocardiogram

Chest X Ray

CT

MRI

Echocardiography

Treatment

Medical Therapy

Surgery

Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

Right heart failure overview On the Web

Most recent articles

Most cited articles

Review articles

CME Programs

Powerpoint slides

Google Images

American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Right heart failure overview

All Images
X-rays
Echo & Ultrasound
CT Images
MRI

Ongoing Trials at Clinical Trials.gov

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse

NICE Guidance

FDA on Right heart failure overview

CDC on Right heart failure overview

Right heart failure overview in the news

Blogs on Right heart failure overview

Directions to Hospitals Treating Right heart failure

Risk calculators and risk factors for Right heart failure overview

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1];Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Rim Halaby; Jad Z Al Danaf

Overview

The right ventricle was previously recognized as a simple conduit between the systemic and the pulmonary circulation until recently when its importance in maintaining hemodynamic stability and organ function has been recognized. In fact, right heart function acts as an important prognostic factor in congenital heart diseases, pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure. Right heart failure can be defined as failure of the right ventricle to pump blood into the lungs adequately. It consists of an intricate clinical syndrome resulting from several functional and structural cardiovascular disorders that alter right ventricular right ventricle filling and/or ejection capacity. Furthermore, it has been shown that isolated right ventricular failure, despite its rarity as compared to left ventricular failure, which carries a worse prognosis. Hence, right heart failure presents distinctive challenges in identification and management. Right heart failure is also used interchangeably with cor pulmonale when the pathology is caused by an underlying lung disease[1][2].

Classification

There are many different ways to categorize right heart failure, which includes whether the abnormality is due to insufficient contraction (systolic dysfunction); or due to insufficient relaxation of the heart (diastolic dysfunction), or to both; whether the problem is primarily increased venous back pressure (preload), or failure to supply adequate arterial perfusion (afterload); whether the abnormality is due to low cardiac output with high systemic vascular resistance or high cardiac output with low vascular resistance (low-output heart failure vs. high-output heart failure); degree of functional impairment conferred by the abnormality (as reflected in the New York Heart Association Functional Classification[3]); and the degree of coexisting illness: i.e. heart failure/systemic hypertension, heart failure/pulmonary hypertension, heart failure/diabetes, heart failure/chronic renal failure, etc.

Pathophysiology

The pathophysiological processes underlying right heart failure can be divided broadly into three: decreased right ventricular contractility, right ventricular pressure overload, right ventricular volume overload [4]. The right ventricle tries to adapt acutely by dilatation and chronically by hypertrophy. Whether dilatation or hypertrophy occur, right heart failure gets further exacerbated as a result of these adaptive mechanisms.

Causes

There are acute and chronic causes of right heart failure. Acute right heart failure is associated with right ventricular dilation. Chronic right heart failure is often associated with right ventricular hypertrophy.

Epidemiology and Demographics

The prevalence of heart failure has been increasing due to the increase in the aging population, the early detection, preventive measures and improvement in the therapy. The prevalence of heart failure in the United States was estimated in 2006 to be 5.8 million people of all ages with an estimated incidence of 10/1000 for individuals older than 65 years of age.[5]

Natural History, Complications and Prognosis

Right heart failure, if left undiagnosed and untreated, may lead to impaired quality of life and eventually death. There are several factors that define this natural history depending mainly on the underlying etiology or mechanism of injury, the onset of illness, how early was treatment initiated and other comorbidities.

Diagnosis

In the initial approach to a patient with RHF, it is important to determine the underlying etiology, assess the functional status of the patient, determine the presence of any end organ damage (liver and kidney most notably), and any other associated conditions.

History and Symptoms

Right heart failure is frequently associated with shortness of breath, exercise intolerance and coughing, and in later stages chest discomfort and swelling of the feet or ankles. According to the recent 2009 updated guidelines on diagnosis and management of right heart failure published by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Consensus Conference guidelines on heart failure, right heart failure should be suspected as the diagnosis whenever a patient is presenting with unexplained complaints of exercise intolerance or hypotension with signs of elevated jugular venous pressure (JVP), peripheral edema (feet or ankles), hepatomegaly or a combination of any of these clinical signs.[6]

Physical Exam

Physical exam should consist of a thorough cardiovascular exam, an abdominal exam, and examination of the extremities. Findings to be aware of are cyanosis, JVD, S2 and S3 heart sounds, ascites, hepatomegaly, and pedal edema.

Laboratory Findings

Laboratory tests are useless in the diagnosis of heart failure, however they are essential in identifying possible precipitating factors of decompensation, assessing severity of the heart failure, monitoring the side effects of medical treatment and some serve as prognostic markers.[7] In addition, in patients with right heart failure, an arterial blood gas can be useful in assessing the degree of hypoxemia. This can in turn be used to guide therapy with oxygen.

Electrocardiogram

Right heart failure is often accompanied by right ventricular hypertrophy and right ventricular dilation. The general electrocardiographic findings of right ventricular hypertrophy include right axis deviation, an R/S ratio > 1 in V1, and the presence of P pulmonale.

Chest X-Ray

The plain chest radiograph has limited utility in identifying right heart failure. It might show evidence of the underlying cause of right heart failure like pulmonary embolism or congenital heart diseases.

Echocardiography

Transthoracic echocardiography plays a key role in the diagnosis of right heart failure by showing signs of right ventricular hypertrophy, tricuspid regurgitaion and pulmonary hypertension.

Treatment

Medical Therapy

Currently, the basis of therapy for right heart failure is most importantly cautious diuresis, sinus rhythm maintenance and management of the underlying cause whenever feasible. Management of right heart failure, which is largely empiric, can be tailored for etiology specific therapy such as anticoagulation in the case of a pulmonary embolism or antibiotics in the case of endocarditis. Management also comprises of optimizing right ventricular preload, afterload and contractility. Since atrial fibrillation and high grade AV block cause detrimental hemodynamic instability in the setting of a right heart failure in particular, maintaining sinus rhythm and AV synchrony is important [8][9].

Surgery

Surgical intervention in right heart failure is mainly indicated in valvular pathologies and congenital heart diseases that are causing worsening of heart failure despite adequate medical interventions. In addition, early surgical interventions in these pathologies have been associated with improved survival and functional status (exercise tolerance for example which serves as an important prognostic indicator in right heart failure) of the patients. [1]. Treating primary pulmonary hypertension often leads to greater stamina and a longer life. In some cases, a lung transplant or heart-lung transplant can extend survival.

Future or Investigational Therapies

A right ventricular assist device (RVAD) can be a temporary therapy for patients with an acute exacerbation of right heart failure.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Haddad F, Hunt SA, Rosenthal DN, Murphy DJ. Right ventricular function in cardiovascular disease, part I: Anatomy, physiology, aging, and functional assessment of the right ventricle. Circulation 2008;117:1436-48.
  2. .McLaughlin VV, Archer SL, Badesch DB, Barst RJ, Farber HW, Lindner JR, Mathier MA, et al. ACCF/AHA 2009 expert consensus document on pulmonary hypertension a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Task Force on Expert Consensus Documents and the American Heart Association developed in collaboration with the American College of Chest Physicians; American Thoracic Society, Inc.; and the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009;53:1573-619.
  3. Criteria Committee, New York Heart Association. Diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Nomenclature and criteria for diagnosis, 6th ed. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1964;114.
  4. Piazza G, Goldhaber SZ (2005). "The acutely decompensated right ventricle: pathways for diagnosis and management". Chest. 128 (3): 1836–52. doi:10.1378/chest.128.3.1836. PMID 16162794.
  5. WRITING GROUP MEMBERS. Lloyd-Jones D, Adams RJ, Brown TM, Carnethon M, Dai S; et al. (2010). "Heart disease and stroke statistics--2010 update: a report from the American Heart Association". Circulation. 121 (7): e46–e215. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192667. PMID 20019324.
  6. JG Howlett, RS McKelvie, JMO Arnold, et al. Canadian Cardiovascular Society Consensus Conference guidelines on heart failure, update 2009: Diagnosis and management of right-sided heart failure, myocarditis, device therapy and recent important clinical trials. Can J Cardiol 2009;25(2):85-105.
  7. Tago WH, Francis GS, Morrow DA, et al. National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory Medicine. National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory Medicine practice guidelines: Clinical utilization of cardiac biomarker testing in heart failure. Circulation. 2007; 116:e90-e109.
  8. Haddad F. et al. Right Ventricular function in Cardiovascular Disease, Part II: Pathophysiology, Clinical Importance and Management of Right Ventricular failure. Circulation. 2008;117:1717-1731
  9. Skhiri M. et al. Evidence-Based Management of Right Heart Failure: a Systematic Review of an Empiric Fiel. Rev Esp Cardiol. 2010;63(4):451-71



Linked-in.jpg