Ventricular Interdependence

  • Eldon R. Smith
  • John V. Tyberg
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 83)


It has long been appreciated that the function of one ventricle can influence the performance of the other. This ventricular interaction can occur via three mechanisms: 1) Since the two ventricles are arranged in series, if the output of the right ventricle decreases, then preload to the left ventricle necessarily declines; conversely, if performance of the left ventricle is decreased, then afterload to the right ventricle may be increased. 2) Both ventricles are enclosed in the pericardium, which may cause restriction to ventricular filling even at physiologic pressures {1}. Expansion of one ventricle, therefore, may result in compression of the other with an apparent decrease in compliance {2}. 3) Finally, the two ventricles share a common wall, the ventricular septum, which allows direct mechanical interaction between the two chambers. In this chapter we will deal primarily with this latter mechanism while recognizing that ventricular interaction mediated through the septum is modulated by the pericardium. Following a review of some pertinent historical and anatomic data, we will deal in turn with a number of the major clinical states in which ventricular interdependence is demonstrable via this septal mechanism.


Right Ventricular Atrial Septal Defect Left Bundle Branch Block Left Ventricular Free Wall Left Ventricular Stroke Volume 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eldon R. Smith
  • John V. Tyberg

There are no affiliations available

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