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Multiscale Computational Analysis of Right Ventricular Mechanoenergetics

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Right ventricular (RV) failure, which occurs in the setting of pressure overload, is characterized by abnormalities in mechanical and energetic function. The effects of these cell- and tissue-level changes on organ-level RV function are unknown. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effects of myofiber mechanics and mitochondrial energetics on organ-level RV function in the context of pressure overload using a multiscale model of the cardiovascular system. The model integrates the mitochondria-generated metabolite concentrations that drive intracellular actin-myosin cross-bridging and extracellular myocardial tissue mechanics in a biventricular heart model coupled with simple lumped parameter circulations. Three types of pressure overload were simulated and compared to experimental results. The computational model was able to capture a wide range of cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology from mild RV dysfunction to RV failure. Our results confirm that, in response to pressure overload alone, the RV is able to maintain cardiac output (CO) and predict that alterations in either RV active myofiber mechanics or RV metabolite concentrations are necessary to decrease CO.

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