An abundance of data has provided insight into the mechanisms underlying the development of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and its progression to LV failure. In contrast, there is minimal data on the adaptation of the right ventricle (RV) to pressure and volume overload and the transition to RV failure. This is a critical clinical question, because the RV is uniquely at risk in many patients with repaired or palliated congenital heart disease and in those with pulmonary hypertension. Standard heart failure therapies have failed to improve function or survival in these patients, suggesting a divergence in the molecular mechanisms of RV versus LV failure. Although, on the cellular level, the remodeling responses of the RV and LV to pressure overload are largely similar, there are several key differences: the stressed RV is more susceptible to oxidative stress, has a reduced angiogenic response, and is more likely to activate cell death pathways than the stressed LV. Together, these differences could explain the more rapid progression of the RV to failure versus the LV. This review will highlight known molecular differences between the RV and LV responses to hemodynamic stress, the unique stressors on the RV associated with congenital heart disease, and the need to better understand these molecular mechanisms if we are to develop RV-specific heart failure therapeutics.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.012975
View details for PubMedID 26527692
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4635965