Systolic and diastolic functional reserve of the subpulmonary and systemic right ventricles as assessed by pharmacologic and exercise stress: A systematic review

Echocardiography. 2022 Feb;39(2):310-329. doi: 10.1111/echo.15285. Epub 2022 Jan 7.


We performed a systematic review of the literature on the assessment of subpulmonary and systemic right ventricular (RV) functional reserve during pharmacological and exercise stress in congenital heart patients and patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Literature search was conducted using PubMed, EMBASE, and MEDLINE from their inception up to August 2020. Of 913 records identified, 56 studies with a total of 1730 patients were included. Of the 56 studies, 23 assessed subpulmonary RV functional reserve in repaired tetralogy of Fallot patients, 19 assessed systemic RV reserve in patients with transposition of the great arteries (TGA) after atrial switch and those with congenitally corrected TGA, and 14 assessed subpulmonary RV research in patients with PAH. Pharmacological and exercise stress was used, respectively, in 22 and 34 studies. The main findings were (1) impairment of RV systolic and diastolic functional reserve, (2) associations between impaired functional reserve and worse baseline functional parameters, and (3) prognostic implications of RV systolic functional reserve on clinical outcomes in patients with volume and/or pressure-loaded subpulmonary and systemic right ventricles. Further studies are required to establish the incremental value of incorporating stress studies of RV systolic and diastolic function in the clinical management algorithm of congenital heart patients and patients with PAH.

Keywords: congenital heart disease; contractile reserve; pulmonary hypertension; right ventricle; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Systole
  • Transposition of Great Vessels*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right* / diagnostic imaging
  • Ventricular Function, Right