The concept of ventricular reserve in heart failure and pulmonary hypertension: an old metric that brings us one step closer in our quest for prediction

Curr Opin Cardiol. 2011 Mar;26(2):123-31. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0b013e3283437485.


Purpose of review: Ventricular reserve is emerging a strong predictor of outcome in heart failure and cardiovascular disease. Ventricular reserve is the term used to describe the extent of increase or change in ventricular function that occurs during exercise or pharmacological stress (typically with dobutamine).

Recent findings: The interest in ventricular reserve lies in its ability to assess viability in coronary artery disease, to predict clinical outcome and response to therapy in patients with heart failure and to screen patients for early cardiovascular disease.

Summary: In this paper, we will review the emerging role of ventricular reserve in heart failure and pulmonary hypertension. We will also explore the mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of impaired ventricular reserve and discuss future directions of research in the field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Dobutamine
  • Exercise Test
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / pathology*
  • Heart Valve Diseases / diagnosis
  • Heart Valve Diseases / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / pathology*
  • Myocardial Contraction
  • Prognosis
  • Stroke Volume*
  • Tissue Survival
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left*
  • Ventricular Function, Left


  • Dobutamine