New developments in the understanding of right ventricular function in acute care

Etienne J Couture, Lars Grønlykke, André Y Denault*

*Corresponding author for this work


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Right ventricular dysfunction has an important impact on the perioperative course of cardiac surgery patients. Recent advances in the detection and monitoring of perioperative right ventricular dysfunction will be reviewed here.

RECENT FINDINGS: The incidence of right ventricular dysfunction in cardiac surgery has been associated with unfavorable outcomes. New evidence supports the use of a pulmonary artery catheter in cardiogenic shock. The possibility to directly measure right ventricular pressure by transducing the pacing port has expanded its use to track changes in right ventricular function and to detect right ventricular outflow tract obstruction. The potential role of myocardial deformation imaging has been raised to detect patients at risk of postoperative complications.

SUMMARY: Perioperative right ventricular function monitoring is based on echocardiographic and extra-cardiac flow evaluation. In addition to imaging modalities, hemodynamic evaluation using various types of pulmonary artery catheters can be achieved to track changes rapidly and quantitatively in right ventricular function perioperatively. These monitoring techniques can be applied during and after surgery to increase the detection rate of right ventricular dysfunction. All this to improve the treatment of patients presenting early signs of right ventricular dysfunction before systemic organ dysfunction ensue.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Opinion in Critical Care
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)331-339
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures/adverse effects
  • Critical Care
  • Echocardiography
  • Humans
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right/diagnostic imaging
  • Ventricular Function, Right


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