Heart failure affecting the left ventricle is characterized by engorged, congested lungs. As the lungs develop chronic stasis, the lungs become more rigid and dark brown in coloration.
Heart failure affecting the right ventricle is characterized by an enlargement of the liver which increases in consistency, the liver develops red areas in the center and yellowish areas in the periphery of the lobule as a result of the lipid dystrophy. In more advanced cases, cardiac cirrhosis of the liver occurs.
A myocardial infarction
These factors include extreme physical exertions, various infections such as acute pneumopathies, influenza, re-activation of acute articular rheumatism, bacterial endocarditis, etc. Psychological trauma, obesity, pregnancy, a diet rich in salts and lacking proteins, carbohydrates and vitamin B complex, etc are all factors which may lead to the emergence of the disease, albeit more rarely.
The heart resembles a pump which distributes the blood throughout all the systems and organs in the body. The amount that the heart is capable of pumping every minute is termed the cardiac output. This output is not constant, but rather fluctuates according to the physiological needs of the organism. The capacity that the heart retains in order to increase the output, depending on the needs of the organism, is called the cardiac reserve. Pathologies of the heart are characterized by a reduced potential energy of the heart. However, the heart still attempts to withstand this phenomenon via certain mechanisms, which affect the heart muscle and cause the following cardiomyopathies (Cardiomyopathy definition: Diseases of the heart muscle, characterized by abnormality in chamber size and wall thickness, or functional contractile dysfunctions; mainly systolic or diastolic dysfunction in the absence of coronary artery disease, hypertension, valvular disease, or congenital heart disease (Elliot et al., 2018)) :
1. The retrograde theory
The reduction in contractile power of the myocardium causes the cavities of the heart to become partially emptied. Due to this, the residual systolic blood and the ventricular diastolic pressure rise. Alongside the aforementioned, the atrial pressure rises, and the flow of venous blood is obstructed. When the failure affects the left ventricle, the pressure in the left atrium and pulmonary veins rises in retrograde fashion. Stasis emerges in the pulmonary circulation.
When the failure affects the right ventricle, the pressure in the venous systemic circulation rises. This causes stasis (a stoppage or slowdown in the flow of blood or other body fluid, such as lymph) in the liver, kidneys, etc., and accumulation of liquids in the intercellular spaces, which eventually leads to edema.
This theory is contested, because in cases such as adhesive pericarditis, tricuspid stenosis or for conditions such as ligation of the vena cava inferior, there is no edema for substantial amounts of time, regardless of the rise in venous pressure.
2. The anterograde theory
According to this theory, the heart cannot contract with as much vigor as it used to, hence the cardiac output is reduced, the renal flux is reduced and so is the glomerular filtration. In this manner, there is water and sodium retention, and as a consequence, the volume of blood increases alongside the venous pressure. The two of them in conjunction both eventually cause the edema.
What this theory does not account for is that it cannot explain the partial decompensation that may occur, such as for example the rise in pressure in the pulmonary circulation. According to the theory, the retention of water and sodium should have global effects on the entire circulatory system.
Hence, both methods have their flaws, and in many ways complete one-another.
Pathologies of the heart are characterized by a reduced potential energy of the heart. However, the heart still attempts to withstand this phenomenon viaÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â certain mechanisms, which affect the heart muscle and cause the following cardiomyopathies.
Heart failure is a condition which often can be accompanied by complications that range from mild to severe and life-threatening.
There are many heart failure classifications being used. These classifications are used in order to help with a better understanding of the different stages and the treatment of the various stages.
Heart failure (HF), often referred to as congestive heart failure (CHF), occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficiently to maintain blood flow to meet the body's needs. Heart failure doesn't mean your heart has stopped working it just needs some support to help it work better.
The symptoms of heart failure can vary from person to person. They may start suddenly or develop gradually over weeks or months. The most common symptoms of heart failure are: shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen ankles and legs, etc.
If you have symptoms of heart failure , your GP will ask you to describe them in detail. They will also carry out a physical examination. Tests you may have to diagnose heart failure include: blood tests, an electrocardiogram (ECG), an echocardiogram, etc.
If you've been diagnosed with heart failure, making healthy lifestyle changes can help relieve your symptoms and reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill. Most people with heart failure are treated with medication. Often you'll need to take two or three different medicines.
It's very important to take good care of yourself if you have heart failure. Some of the main things you'll be advised to do are; take your medication, have a healthy diet, exercise regularly, stop smoking, make regular reviews.