Essay Heart Failure

2208 Words Jul 18th, 2011 9 Pages
Definition
Heart failure occurs when abnormal cardiac function causes failure of the heart to pump blood at a rate sufficient for metabolic requirements under normal filling pressure. It is characterised clinically by breathlessness, effort intolerance, fluid retention, and poor survival. Fluid retention and the congestion related to this can often be relieved with diuretic therapy. However, diuretic therapy should generally not be used alone and, if required, should be combined with the pharmacological therapies outlined in this review. Heart failure can be caused by systolic or diastolic dysfunction, and is associated with neurohormonal changes. [1] Left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) is defined as a left ventricular ejection
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It is characterised clinically by breathlessness, effort intolerance, fluid retention, and poor survival. Fluid retention and the congestion related to this can often be relieved with diuretic therapy. However, diuretic therapy should generally not be used alone and, if required, should be combined with the pharmacological therapies outlined in this review. Heart failure can be caused by systolic or diastolic dysfunction, and is associated with neurohormonal changes. [1] Left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) is defined as a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) below 0.40. It may be symptomatic or asymptomatic. Defining and diagnosing diastolic heart failure can be difficult. Recently proposed criteria include: (1) clinical evidence of heart failure; (2) normal or mildly abnormal left ventricular systolic function; (3) evidence of abnormal left ventricular relaxation, filling, diastolic distensibility, or diastolic stiffness; and (4) evidence of elevated N-terminal-probrain natriuretic peptide. [2] However, assessment of some of these criteria is not standardised.
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Incidence / Prevalence

Both incidence and prevalence of heart failure increase with age. Studies of heart failure in the US and UK

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