19. Chronic cor pulmonale

Page created on October 8, 2018. Last updated on January 17, 2019 at 16:20

Organ: Heart


The wall of the right ventricle at the area of the conus pulmonalis is increased.

Diagnosis: Cor pulmonale chronicum


  • Pulmonary hypertension
    • Due to chest deformity due to scoliosis
    • COPD
    • Emphysema
    • Severe untreated asthma


Unlike the left ventricle will the right ventricle never undergo concentric hypertrophy, just dilatative hypertrophy.

Chronic cor pulmonale is diagnosed when the right ventricle is dilated (which we cannot see on the preparation, only on a cross-section) and when the wall of the right ventricle at the area of the conus pulmonalis (= conus arteriosus = infundibulum) is thicker than 5 mm.

Cor pulmonale can be chronic or acute. The acute form is caused by a sudden overload of the right ventricle, often due to an acute pulmonary embolism. Acute cor pulmonale is life-threatening.

The dilatative hypertrophy of the right ventricle can eventually lead to right-sided heart failure and arrhythmias, and possibly death.

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