Non-invasive investigations of the right heart: how and why?

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Non-invasive investigations of the right heart: how and why?

Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2009 Mar;102(3):219-32

Authors: Selton-Suty C, Juillière Y

The importance of right ventricular (RV) function in the clinical management of patients with cardiopulmonary disorders is now well recognized. However, due to both its shape and location and to the load dependence of its ejection fraction, accurate evaluation of its function is still a challenge. Echocardiography allows morphological, hemodynamic and functional assessment of the right heart. Displacement and deformation parameters derived from new techniques are promising tools. 3D echocardiography also has a potential interest in the quantification of RV volumes and ejection fraction. Radionuclide technique allows an easy and accurate measurement of right ventricular ejection fraction. MRI remains nowadays the technique of choice for the quantification of volumes and function of the RV. All these techniques have proven their interest in various diseases affecting the right heart. RV function is an important prognostic factor in heart failure and is a major component of functional capacity in such patients. In pulmonary arterial hypertension, echocardiography is the best tool for the routine follow-up of patients. Finally, all these non-invasive techniques of investigation of the right heart enable the diagnosis of specific right ventricular damage such as myocardial infarction or arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia.

PMID: 19375676 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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