Interactions Between Structural Remodeling and Hypertrophy in the Right Ventricle in Response to Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) exerts substantial pressure overload on the right ventricle (RV), inducing RV remodeling and myocardial tissue adaptation often leading to right heart failure. The associated RV free wall (RVFW) adaptation involves myocardial hypertrophy, augmented intrinsic contractility, collagen fibrosis, and structural remodeling in an attempt to cope with pressure overload. If RVFW adaptation cannot maintain the RV stroke volume (SV), RV dilation will prevail as an exit mechanism, which usually decompensates RV function, leading to RV failure. Our knowledge of the factors determining the transition from the upper limit of RVFW adaptation to RV decompensation and the role of fiber remodeling events such as extracellular fibrosis and fiber reorientation in this transition remains very limited. Computational heart models that connect the growth and remodeling (G&R) events at the fiber and tissue levels with alterations in the organ-level function are essential to predict the temporal order and the compensatory level of the underlying mechanisms. In this work, building upon our recently developed rodent heart models (RHM) of PAH, we integrated mathematical models that describe volumetric growth of the RV and structural remodeling of the RVFW. The time-evolution of RV remodeling from control and post-PAH time points was simulated. The results suggest that the augmentation of the intrinsic contractility of myofibers, accompanied by an increase in passive stiffness of RVFW, is among the first remodeling events through which the RV strives to maintain the cardiac output. Interestingly, we found that the observed reorientation of the myofibers toward the longitudinal (apex-to-base) direction was a maladaptive mechanism that impaired the RVFW contractile pattern and advanced along with RV dilation at later stages of PAH. In fact, although individual fibers were more contractile post-PAH, the disruption in the optimal transmural fiber architecture compromised the effective contractile function of the RVFW, contributing to the depressed ejection fraction (EF) of the RV. Our findings clearly demonstrate the critical need for developing multiscale approaches that can model and delineate relationships between pathological alterations in cardiac function and underlying remodeling events across fiber, cellular, and molecular levels.

published proceedings

  • J Biomech Eng

author list (cited authors)

  • Avazmohammadi, R., Mendiola, E. A., Li, D. S., Vanderslice, P., Dixon, R., & Sacks, M. S.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Avazmohammadi, Reza||Mendiola, Emilio A||Li, David S||Vanderslice, Peter||Dixon, Richard AF||Sacks, Michael S

publication date

  • September 2019