CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE

   

Symptoms: Dyspnea, especially exertional dyspnea, orthopnea, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea, Cheyne-Stokes respiration, fatigue, weakness, abdominal pain, abdominal distension, anorexia and nausea, confusion, headache and nocturia; night cough;
Special signs: Peripheral edema; pulsus alternans, pleural effusion; tachycardia; percussion dullness at lung bases; coarse crepitations with wheezes in pulmonary edema (or none), cardiomegaly, S3 gallop, positive hepatojugular reflex; hepatomegaly; splenomegaly; jaundice in late cases; impairment of intestinal absorption.
Special investigations: Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP); X ray shows cardiomegaly and pulmonary congestion. P pulmonale in cor pulmonale.

SHORT DESCRIPTION:
Heart failure is caused by inability of the heart to perform its functions to maximum capacity. It may be either diastolic-systolic failure or left-right ; acute- chronic. Left sided failure is characterised by pulmonary congestion while the right has peripheral congestion with edema, spleno and hepatomegaly.

 

 

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