The mechanisms between right-sided heart failure and left-sided heart failure.


I’m getting a little mixed up with both; I’m aware that the cause of right-sided is causation of a weakened/damaged/stiffness of the left ventrical resulting in backflow and resulting in further damages.

I’d be greatful for a clearer understanding. Thanks!

In: Biology

The right ventricle pumps blood into the lungs to get oxygenated, and the left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood around the rest of the body.

Functionally, either one of these two sides of the heart failing dependently will end up having the same effect: congestive heart failure. The remaining portion of the heart will continue to try to work, but it won’t be able to do the job by itself.

In practice, the left ventricle is the larger and more powerful of the two, so complete failure of the left ventricle will kill you a lot more quickly than complete failure of the right ventricle. But neither tends to fail completely without rather large systemic problems that are likely to make the whole heart fail.

So the heart is a functional organ, but can be thought of in 2 separate pieces. Left heart failure and right heart failure both are usually causes by pressure. Pressure agaisnt the emptying. This causes the muscle to grow in an effort to create more pushing force to squeeze blood out. Eventually it gets too large and can’t pump effectively/can’t fill adequately and less blood leaves the chamber. Left heart failure occurs from the aortic valve being hard to open or high blood pressure. Right heart failure occurs from increased lung resistance or pulmonic valve difficulty. Think of where the blood is going and imagine it fighting back.

Left sided heart failure happens when the heart has to remodel itself after systemic changes. Like, if you have hypertension, are anemic, have a metabolic derangement, or an aortic valve stenosis, the left ventrical hypertrophies like any muscle in order to contract with greater force. This is obviously an oversimplification. Right sided heart failure usually comes after this because blood fills the left ventrical less efficiently over time as a result of this remodelling. You get a backup from the left and the right has to hypertrophy in a similar way to deal with this backup. In other settings, high blood pressure I’m the pulmonary vasculature can cause isolated right heart failure. There are other conditions (COPD), especially congenital ones, that can cause isolated right heart failure.