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Right heart failure is the inability of the right ventricle to generate enough stroke volume for forward flow. The amount of blood pumped by the heart in one minute is called the cardiac output (CO). CO can be defined as follows: Cardiac Output (CO) = Stroke Volume (SV) × Pulse Rate. The stroke volume (SV) is the amount of blood pumped by the heart with each beat and is affected by contractility, preload and afterload. The pulse rate is the number of times the heart beats per minute. Thus, the amount of blood the heart pumps is affected by the SV and the pulse rate. To increase CO, the body can increase the heart rate or the SV. To decrease CO, the body can decrease the heart rate or SV.

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