Heart failure (HF) has been considered for many years a disease of the left ventricle. Much research has been done on left ventricular (LV) function, the determinants of its failure, and the consequent effects on morbidity and mortality of HF patients, whereas less attention has been paid to the right ventricle (RV) and its failure. Things have changed in recent years. Nowadays it has become clear to clinicians and to researchers that the right ventricle plays a critical role in patients with left heart disease. This review summarizes available data on prevalence, clinical correlates, prognostic relevance, pathophysiologic determinants and treatment of RV failure in the context of Left Heart failure (HF). The focus is on four clinical conditions: chronic HF with reduced ejection fraction of the left ventricle, HF with preserved ejection fraction of the left ventricle, acute decompensated HF and end-stage HF patients undergoing implantation of a LV assist device.
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