Functional and anatomic involvement of the right ventricle in arterial hypertension.

A Freitas


The early cardiac involvement is well known in arterial hypertension, particulary the diastolic and left ventricular hypertrophy. The right ventricle and pulmonary circulation may likewise be affected early in the course of disease. Scarce though it is, studies on the right repercussion of hypertension have shown an increase in pulmonary resistance and right-sided pressures in hypertensive patients. In spite of the limitations arising from the complex geometry of the right ventricule, echocardiography may be the most important non-invasive technique in the evaluation of the structural and functional repercussion of hypertension on the right ventricle. Our studies have revealed an increase in the diastolic thickness of the right ventricular free wall in hypertensive patients, as well as a good correlation between the diastolic thickness of the free walls of both ventricles. Most studies suggest a functional relationship between both ventricles. Structural alterations may occur in the right ventricle, along with hemodynamic alterations, thus suggesting structural and functional similarity of both ventricles, regarding cardiac response to arterial hypertension.

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