Right heart failure - Definition

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Right heart failure is an inability of the right heart to pump blood adequately. It may be due to left ventricular failure, which causes congestive heart failure, but may also be due to a lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic respiratory failure, abnormal heart valves of the right heart, or myocardial infarction. The inability to pump causes fluid accumulation before the right heart in the lower limbs which causes edemas, an increase in the volume of the liver which becomes sensitive, and hypertension in the pulmonary arteries. The diagnosis is often made by echocardiography.