Management of Acute Right Ventricular Failure

Curr Heart Fail Rep. 2023 Jun;20(3):218-229. doi: 10.1007/s11897-023-00601-5. Epub 2023 May 8.


Purpose of review: Acute right ventricular failure (RVF) is a frequent condition associated with high morbidity and mortality. This review aims to provide a current overview of the pathophysiology, presentation, and comprehensive management of acute RVF.

Recent findings: Acute RVF is a common disease with a pathophysiology that is not completely understood. There is renewed interest in the right ventricle (RV). Some advances have been principally made in chronic right ventricular failure (e.g., pulmonary hypertension). Due to a lack of precise definition and diagnostic tools, acute RVF is poorly studied. Few advances have been made in this field. Acute RVF is a complex, frequent, and life-threatening condition with several etiologies. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is the key diagnostic tool in search of the etiology. Management includes transfer to an expert center and admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) in most severe cases, etiological treatment, and general measures for RVF.

Keywords: Echocardiography; Heart failure; Mechanical circulatory support; Pulmonary vasodilator; Right ventricular dysfunction; Right ventricular failure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography
  • Heart Failure* / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure* / etiology
  • Heart Failure* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right* / diagnosis
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right* / etiology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right* / therapy