In recent years, right ventricular (RV) infarction seems to be underdiagnosed in most cases of acute myocardial ischaemia despite its frequent association with inferior-wall and, occasionally, anterior-wall myocardial infarction (MI). However, its initial management is drastically different from that of left ventricular MI, and studies have indicated that RV infarction remains associated with significant morbidity and mortality, even in the mechanical reperfusion era. The pathophysiology of RV infarction involves the interaction between the right and left ventricle (LV), and the mechanism has been clarified with the advent of diagnostic non-invasive modalities, such as echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance. In recent years, considerable progress has been made in the treatment of RV infarction; early revascularization remains the cornerstone of the management, and fluid resuscitation, with appropriate target selection, is necessary to maintain appropriate preload. Early recognition in intensive care with clear understanding of the pathophysiology is essential to improve its prognosis. In terms of management, the support strategy for RV dysfunction is different from that for LV dysfunction since the former may often be temporary. Along with early reperfusion, maintenance of an adequate heart rate and atrioventricular synchrony are essential to sustain a sufficient cardiac output in patients with RV infarction. In refractory cases, more intensive mechanical support is required, and new therapeutic options, such as Tandem-Heart or percutaneous cardiopulmonary support systems, are being developed.
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