Approach to Decompensated Right Heart Failure in the Acute Setting

Link to article at PubMed

J Clin Med. 2024 Feb 2;13(3):869. doi: 10.3390/jcm13030869.


Acute right heart failure (ARHF) arises when the right ventricle fails to pump blood efficiently to the pulmonary circulation. This inefficiency leads to a decreased blood supply to various organs. ARHF is a significant health concern, often leading to increased hospital admissions and being associated with a higher risk of mortality. This condition underscores the importance of effective cardiac care and timely intervention to manage its complications and improve patient outcomes. Diagnosing ARHF involves a comprehensive approach that includes a physical examination to evaluate the patient's fluid status and heart-lung function, blood tests to identify potential triggers and help forecast patient outcomes and various imaging techniques. These imaging techniques include electrocardiograms, point-of-care ultrasounds, computed tomography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, and other advanced monitoring methods. These diagnostic tools collectively aid in a detailed assessment of the patient's cardiac and pulmonary health, essential for effective management of ARHF. The management of ARHF focuses on addressing the underlying causes, regulating fluid balance, and enhancing cardiac function through pharmacological treatments or mechanical support aimed at boosting right heart performance. This management strategy includes the use of medications that modulate preload, afterload, and inotropy; vasopressors; anti-arrhythmic drugs; ensuring proper oxygenation and ventilation; and the utilization of heart and lung assist devices as a bridge to potential transplantation. This review article is dedicated to exploring the pathophysiology of ARHF, examining its associated morbidity and mortality, evaluating the various diagnostic tools available, and discussing the diverse treatment modalities. The article seeks to provide a comprehensive understanding of ARHF, its impact on health, and the current strategies for its management.

PMID:38337563 | PMC:PMC10856072 | DOI:10.3390/jcm13030869

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