Anatomy and physiology of the right ventricle

Cardiol Clin. 2012 May;30(2):167-87. doi: 10.1016/j.ccl.2012.03.009.


Under normal baseline conditions the unique anatomy, myocardial ultrastructure, and coronary physiology of the right ventricle (RV) reflect a high-volume low-pressure pump. Early work described the RV as a passive conduit with minimal pumping capability. It is now appreciated that through a mechanism of ventricular interdependence, RV systolic function and diastolic load are extremely important in the prognosis and treatment of congestive heart failure, cardiac transplantation, pulmonary hypertension, congenital heart disease, and left ventricle assist devices. Magnetic resonance imaging with three-dimensional analysis has shown the complex geometry of the RV and the interaction of both ventricles within the pericardium.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cardiac Volume / physiology
  • Diastole / physiology
  • Dogs
  • Electrocardiography
  • Heart Ventricles / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Myocardium / ultrastructure
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Pulmonary Circulation / physiology
  • Stroke Volume / physiology
  • Systole / physiology
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology
  • Ventricular Function, Right / physiology*
  • Ventricular Septum / anatomy & histology