Adaptive capacity of the right ventricle: why does it fail?

Ella M. Poels, Paula A. da Costa Martins, Vanessa P. M. van Empel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Only in recent years has the right ventricle (RV) function become appreciated to be equally important to the left ventricle (LV) function to maintain cardiac output. Right ventricular failure is, irrespectively of the etiology, associated with impaired exercise tolerance and poor survival. Since the anatomy and physiology of the RV is distinctly different than that of the LV, its adaptive mechanisms and the pathways involved are different as well. RV hypertrophy is an important mechanism of the RV to preserve cardiac output. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the right ventricle and its response to pathologic situations. We will focus on the adaptive capacity of the right ventricle and the molecular pathways involved, and we will discuss potential therapeutic interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H803-H813
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology-heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2015


  • heart failure
  • molecular
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • right ventricle
  • right ventricular failure

Cite this