The right ventricle in patients with chronic heart failure and atrial fibrillation

Cardiol J. 2013;20(3):220-6. doi: 10.5603/CJ.2013.0065.


Under normal conditions function of the right ventricle (RV) is determined by the heart rhythm, RV filling time, RV systolic synchrony and interdependence between both ventricles. Failure of the left ventricle (LV) can lead to RV failure. Impaired function of the RV significantly worsens the prognosis in patients after myocardial infarction and with LV failure. Permanent atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common arrhythmia in patients with depressed RV function. Frequent coexistence of chronic heart failure (CHF) and AF causes overlapping of the arrhythmia and RV dysfunction in the setting of CHF. They may lead to hemodynamic compromise and worsen prognosis in patients with chronic RV failure of various etiologies. RV structure and function can be assessed in 2D, 3D echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imagingand computed tomography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / therapy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / diagnosis
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / physiopathology*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / therapy
  • Ventricular Function, Left
  • Ventricular Function, Right*