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Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2012 Sep-Oct;55(2):144-60. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2012.07.011.

Echocardiographic assessment of the right ventricle and associated hemodynamics.

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Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA.


Echocardiographic imaging of the right ventricle has inherent challenges stemming from the chamber's complex shape. More focus has been placed on right ventricular function recently because it is an independent prognostic indicator of morbidity and mortality in heart failure and pulmonary hypertension. Echocardiography is a widely available, inexpensive, and well-validated tool that allows for comprehensive evaluation of the right ventricle's size and function. With improvements in ultrasound techniques and methods, there are many qualitative and quantitative indices that, when used in conjunction with noninvasive pulmonary hemodynamics, provide important diagnostic and prognostic information to the clinician. As echocardiographic modalities - particularly three-dimensional imaging - improve, enhanced assessment of the right ventricle will lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of right heart failure and enhanced ability to follow responses to therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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