The right ventricle has long been perceived as the “low pressure bystander” of the left ventricle. Although the structure consists of, at first glance, the same cardiomyocytes as the left ventricle, it is in fact derived from a different set of precursor cells and has a complex three-dimensional anatomy and a very distinct contraction pattern. Mechanisms of right ventricular failure, its detection and follow-up, and more specific different responses to pressure versus volume overload are still incompletely understood. In order to fully comprehend right ventricular form and function, evolutionary biological entities that have led to the specifics of right ventricular physiology and morphology need to be addressed. Processes responsible for cardiac formation are based on very ancient cardiac lineages and within the first few weeks of fetal life, the human heart seems to repeat cardiac evolution. Furthermore, it appears that most cardiogenic signal pathways (if not all) act in combination with tissue-specific transcriptional cofactors to exert inductive responses reflecting an important expansion of ancestral regulatory genes throughout evolution and eventually cardiac complexity. Such molecular entities result in specific biomechanics of the RV that differs from that of the left ventricle. It is clear that sole descriptions of right ventricular contraction patterns (and LV contraction patterns for that matter) are futile and need to be addressed into a bigger multilayer three-dimensional picture. Therefore, we aim to present a complete picture from evolution, formation, and clinical presentation of right ventricular (mal)adaptation and failure on a molecular, cellular, biomechanical, and (patho)anatomical basis.

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Heart Failure Reviews
Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

Taverne, Y.J.H.J, Sadeghi, A. (Amir), Bartelds, B. (Beatrijs), Bogers, A.J.J.C, & Merkus, D. (2020). Right ventricular phenotype, function, and failure: a journey from evolution to clinics. Heart Failure Reviews. doi:10.1007/s10741-020-09982-4