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Blood returns to the heart from the body through the right atrium. From there, it goes into the right ventricle, through the pulmonary artery, and into the lungs for reoxygenation. Cor pulmonale is right-sided heart failure. The right ventricle has to work harder to pump blood into the lungs. It enlarges, which ultimately adds more strain to the heart. Eventually, the right ventricle fails.
Normally, blood that flows from the heart to the lungs through the pulmonary artery does not cause a lot of pressure because the blood does not have far to travel. Pulmonary hypertension is when the pressure in the lung's arteries gets too high. This causes changes in the small blood vessels, which makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the lungs. The heart strains, and cor pulmonale may result.
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