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Heart Failure

Heart Failure

Heart Failure is a progressive chronic disorder that results in the inability of the heart to pump blood efficiently to the body’s tissues.

Chronic heart failure is an increasing public health problem; the growing prevalence in industrialised countries means that 1-2% of the adult population of these countries are now thought to have chronic heart failure.1-3 Estimates suggest that the prevalence in Europe, USA and Japan could increase by approximately 16.5% over the next ten years.4

The prevalence of post-myocardial infarction heart failure is less well known as it is difficult to distinguish between pre-existing and incident heart failure. However current estimates suggest that approximately 1 in 5 patients hospitalised with an acute coronary syndrome either present with heart failure or develop heart failure during their hospital stay.5

Many of the signs and symptoms of heart failure are non-specific and vary in severity depending on the disease class. The most common of these are breathlessness, fatigue, exercise intolerance, and fluid retention as evidenced by ankle swelling, peripheral oedema, and an elevated jugular venous pressure.6

Due to the non-specific nature of symptoms, the diagnosis of heart failure can be difficult. Tests can include echocardiogram, ECG, chest X-ray, laboratory tests. Following a positive diagnosis heart failure is classified into functional classes that relate to disease severity.

Management of heart failure involves lifestyle modifications, pharmacological treatment and occasionally surgery. In patients with chronic heart failure, optimal therapy involves treatment with diuretics, ACE inhibitors, certain β-blockers and a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist.

The Heart Failure Knowledge Centre brings together current information related to chronic heart failure and post-myocardial infarction, including:

  • Epidemiology
  • Symptoms and Diagnosis
  • Classification
  • Treatment Options

Enter the Heart Failure Knowledge Centre


References

  1. Zannad F, et al. Incidence, clinical and etiologic features, and outcomes of advanced chronic heart failure: the EPICAL Study. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 1999; 33(3):734-742.
  2. Cowie MR, et al. The epidemiology of heart failure. European Heart Journal 1997;18(2):208-225.
  3. Mosterd A, Hoes A. Clinical epidemiology of heart failure. Heart 2007; 93:1137-1146.
  4. Decision Resources. Chronic Heart Failure. Cardium Study No.4 A Pharmacor Service. 2008.
  5. Steg PG, Dabbous OH, et al. Determinants and prognostic impact of heart failure complicating acutecoronary syndromes. Observations from the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE). Circulation2004;109:494-9.
  6. NICE Clinical Guideline No 108. Chronic Heart Failure. National clinical guideline for diagnosis and management in primary and secondary care. 2010.

Clinical Case Studies

Vascular Graft Infection

Infection: Cardiovascular Infections

Stephanie J. Dancer BSc, MB BS, MSc, MD, FRCPath, DTM&H, Consultant Microbiologist, NHS Lanarkshire, Scotland

Case History
A 72-year-old man was referred by his general practitioner complaining of intermittent pain in the legs on exercise.

MRSA Endocarditis

Infection: Cardiovascular Infections

Christopher D. Pfeiffer, Clinical Fellow, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA
Vance Fowler, Associate Professor and Infectious Diseases, Specialist, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Case History
A 64-year-old female presented with three weeks of progressive dyspnoea, nausea and vomiting.

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Animation: New therapy prevents heart failure
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Discussion of a Paper on the use of GPI's During Coronary Angioplasty Surgery
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3D Medical Animation - Congestive Heart Failure
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Recent Drug Updates

Clinical Guidelines

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This guideline offers best practice advice on the care of adults who have had a myocardial..

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The term ‘acute coronary syndromes’ encompasses a range of conditions from unstable angina to..

... ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), arising from thrombus formation on an atheromatous plaque. This guideline addresses the early management of unstable angina and non-ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) once a firm diagnosis has been made and before discharge from hospital. If untreated, the prognosis is poor and mortality high, particularly in people who have had myocardial damage. Appropriate triage, risk assessment and timely use of acute pharmacological or invasive interventions are critical for the prevention of future adverse cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, stroke, repeat revascularisation or death).
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