Apr 13, 1999

Radiology of the right ventricle

Radiologic Clinics of North America
L M Boxt


RV changes may be generalized into dilatation and hypertrophy. Increased preload results in ventricular dilatation. Increased afterload causes hypertrophy. Change in the shape of the RV resulting from increased afterload and myocardial hypertrophy induces tricuspid regurgitation, which superimposes changes of chamber dilatation onto those of hypertrophy. Sustained ventricular dilatation and hypertrophy frequently progresses to RV failure. In these cases, RV systolic function decreases in association with elevation of RV and right atrial diastolic pressure. Changes in the wall thickness and shape of the RV are variable, and depend upon the severity of the volume or pressure load presented, as well as its duration and rate of progression. Because the RV is an anterior cardiac structure, it occupies little of any heart border. Therefore, the sensitivity of plain film examination to RV disease is limited. Inferential diagnosis of RV disease can often be made based upon identification of other radiographic changes, notably the state of the pulmonary circulation, and the position of the heart in the chest. Conventional contrast right ventriculography may be used to assess the size and position of the RV, as well as associated acquire...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Congenital Structural Myopathy
Right Ventricular Structure
Science of Morphology
Plain X-ray
Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency
Cardiac Border
Pathological Dilatation
Physiologic Intraventricular Pressure

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