The prevalence of right ventricular hypertrophy was studied in necropsy material from 215 coalworkers, a group which consisted of 115 men with simple or no pneumoconiosis and 100 with progressive massive fibrosis. Right ventricular hypertrophy was considered to be present if the ratio of the weight of the left ventricle plus septum to that of the right ventricle was less than 2:1. The prevalence of right ventricular hypertrophy was low (15%) in the absence of progressive massive fibrosis and appeared to be related to emphysema or airways disease or both, and not to simple pneumoconiosis. It was evident only in subjects who had smoked. In subjects with progressive massive fibrosis the prevalence of right ventricular hypertrophy was higher (34%) and it was occasionally seen in non-smokers. The prevalence increased with increasing size of lesion, and for any given size of lesion subjects with right ventricular hypertrophy had more panacinar emphysema than those without right ventricular hypertrophy. There was no relationship, however, between the extent of massive lesions or amount and type of emphysema and the degree of right ventricular hypertrophy.
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