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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 8217105, 15 pages
Review Article

Acute Right Ventricular Dysfunction in Intensive Care Unit

1Pathophysiology Department, School of Medicine, Hospital de Clínicas, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay
2Postoperative Cardiac Critical Care Unit, Centro Cardiológico Americano, Montevideo, Uruguay
3Area del Cor, Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain
4Physiology Department, School of Medicine, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Juan C. Grignola; yu.ude.demf@girgj

Received 31 May 2017; Revised 13 August 2017; Accepted 18 September 2017; Published 19 October 2017

Academic Editor: Andre La Gerche

Copyright © 2017 Juan C. Grignola and Enric Domingo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The role of the left ventricle in ICU patients with circulatory shock has long been considered. However, acute right ventricle (RV) dysfunction causes and aggravates many common critical diseases (acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary embolism, acute myocardial infarction, and postoperative cardiac surgery). Several supportive therapies, including mechanical ventilation and fluid management, can make RV dysfunction worse, potentially exacerbating shock. We briefly review the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and recommendations to guide management of acute RV dysfunction in ICU patients. Our aim is to clarify the complex effects of mechanical ventilation, fluid therapy, vasoactive drug infusions, and other therapies to resuscitate the critical patient optimally.