Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pathophysiology of CHF - Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart becomes an inefficient or weak pump.

This heart condition is a long-term and chronic condition, which typically involves both sides of the heart. However, the condition may affect only the right side of the heart (right-sided heart failure) or the left side (left-sided heart failure). The condition occurs when your heart muscles are weak and cannot pump the blood out of the heart effectively (systolic heart failure) or when your heart muscles are stiff and do not fill up with blood easily (diastolic heart failure).

Pathophysiology of CHF - Congestive Heart Failure

Heart failure is often separated into two classifications: right sided or left-sided failure. In right-sided failure, the right ventricle is unable to pump blood into the pulmonary artery, resulting in less blood being oxygenated by the lungs and increased pressure in the right atrium and systemic venous circulation. Systemic venous hypertension causes edema on the extremities. In left-sided failure, the left ventricle is unstable to pump blood into the systemic circulation, resulting in increased pressure in the left atrium and pulmonary veins. The lungs become congested with blood, causing relevated pulmonary pressures and pulmonary edema.
Although, each type produces different systemic/pulmonary artery alterations, clinically it is unusual to observe solely right-or left-sided failure. Since both sides of the heart are dependent on adequate function of the other side, failure of one chamber causes a reciprocal change in the opposite chamber. For example, in left-sided failure increase in pulmonary vascular congestion will cause increased pressure in the right ventricle, resulting in right ventricular hypertrophy, decreased myocardial efficiency, and eventually pooling of blood in the systemic venous circulation.
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