Right ventricular (RV) function is a strong independent predictor of outcome in a number of distinct cardiopulmonary diseases. The RV has a remarkable ability to sustain damage and recover function which may be related to unique anatomic, physiologic, and genetic factors that differentiate it from the left ventricle. This capacity has been described in patients with RV myocardial infarction, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and chronic thromboembolic disease as well as post-lung transplant and post-left ventricular assist device implantation. Various echocardiographic and magnetic resonance imaging parameters of RV function contribute to the clinical assessment and predict outcomes in these patients; however, limitations remain with these techniques. Early diagnosis of RV function and better insight into the mechanisms of RV recovery could improve patient outcomes. Further refinement of established and emerging imaging techniques is necessary to aid subclinical diagnosis and inform treatment decisions.