- Cor pulmonale is defined as enlargement or hypertrophy of the right ventricle
(RV) in response to increased right ventricular afterload.
- Clinically, cor pulmonale presents as right heart failure, which is defined by a
sustained increase in RV pressures combined with an inability to augment the cardiac
output in response to exercise or other stimuli.
- Some authors exclude right heart failure due to increased left atrial pressures
from definitions of cor pulmonale, however this distinction is of no clinical value and
will not be used here.