Heart Failure Overview
Heart failure (HF) is a complex, progressive disorder in which the heart is unable to pump sufcient blood to meet the needs of the body. Its car-dinal symptoms are dyspnea, fatigue, and fuid retention. HF is due to an impaired ability of the heart to adequately fll with and/or eject blood. It is often accompanied by abnormal increases in blood volume and inter-stitial fuid, hence the term “congestive” HF because symptoms include dyspnea from pulmonary congestion in left HF, and peripheral edema in right HF. Underlying causes of HF include arteriosclerotic heart disease, myocardial infarction, hypertensive heart disease, valvular heart dis-ease, dilated cardiomyopathy, and congenital heart disease. Left systolic dysfunction secondary to coronary artery disease is the most common cause of HF, accounting for nearly 70 percent of all cases. The number of newly diagnosed patients with HF is increasing, because more individuals now survive acute myocardial infarction.