Heart Failure | Dr Raghu

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Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It’s a serious condition that requires treatment by your doctor, but there are several options available. If you’re concerned about heart failure and want to know more about your options for treatment, keep reading.

Heart failure treatment

What Is Heart Failure?

Heart failure occurs when your heart doesn’t pump blood as well as it should due to one or more problems with its cardiac function. The heart can’t pump blood as well because it has to work harder than normal just in order to keep up with the body’s needs for oxygen and nutrients. The extra effort causes structural changes in the heart over time.

Types of Heart Failure

Although there are many specific types of heart failure, the two broad categories are as follows:

  • Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction or diastolic heart failure
  • Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction or systolic heart failure

Heart failure can also be categorized depending on the side of the heart that’s affected. These include:

  • Left-sided heart failure
  • Right-sided heart failure

The treatment of heart failure depends on the type of heart failure you’ve developed. The most common treatment options include:

Beta-Blockers

Beta-blockers are a class of drugs that slow your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce the force of contraction in your heart muscle. They work by blocking the effect of certain hormones that cause the heart to beat quickly. 

Beta-blockers can help you feel better if you have high blood pressure or chest pain (angina) due to coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis. But they’re not recommended for people who have low blood pressure (hypotension).

ACE Inhibitors

ACE inhibitors are a class of drugs that lower blood pressure and reduce the workload of the heart. They are used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and kidney problems.

ACE inhibitors include:

  • Captopril 
  • Enalapril
  • Lisinopril 
  • Ramipril 

Digoxin

If you have heart failure, your doctor may prescribe digoxin. This medication is used to slow the heart rate and increase its force of contraction in order to improve blood flow to the body. 

Diuretics

Diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), furosemide and torsemide help your kidneys get rid of excess fluid. If you have heart failure or high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe a diuretic.

Diuretics can cause side effects like dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. They also interact with other medications. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any drug interactions before taking them.

Aldosterone Antagonists

Aldosterone antagonists work by blocking the effect of aldosterone, a hormone that causes your body to hold on to sodium and water. This excess fluid can cause heart failure symptoms, including swelling and shortness of breath.

Aldosterone antagonists are used to treat primary hypertension (high blood pressure) or heart failure. They work best when combined with other medications that block the action of angiotensin II (a hormone secreted by the kidneys).

In Conclusion

Heart failure can be managed with a variety of medications, and in some cases, it may even go away on its own. If you have heart failure, talk to your doctor about what treatments might help you feel better and live longer. We hope this article has given you some insight into the different types of treatments available and how they work!

If you or anyone you know has been experiencing symptoms of heart failure, feel free to reach out to Dr. C Raghu, one of India’s leading cardiologists.

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    Heart Failure Treatment Blog

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      In our previous blogs, we’ve explored the causes, symptoms, and treatment options of heart failure. Also, we’ve outlined different types of heart failure in detail. You can click here to check out our previous blogs.

      In this article, we’ll discuss left ventricular ejection fraction, one of the most common parameters doctors use to diagnose heart failure. Let’s dive right in.

       

      What Is Ejection Fraction?

      Simply put, ejection fraction is a measure of the amount of blood pumped out from the heart’s lower chambers (ventricles). Ejection fraction can be of two types:

      • Left ventricular ejection fraction
      • Right ventricular ejection fraction

      Right ventricular ejection fraction is the percentage of deoxygenated blood the right ventricle pushes into the lungs. On the other hand, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is the percentage of oxygen-rich blood pumped out from the left ventricle into the arteries that carry blood to vital organs, muscles, and tissues.

      Typically, doctors use the term “ejection fraction” when they refer to LVEF. If your heart is healthy and well functioning, the ejection fraction will range between 55% to 66%. An ejection fraction lower than 50% is a sign of systolic heart failure (or heart failure with reduced ejection fraction).

      However, it’s possible for you to develop heart failure with an ejection fraction above 50%. In such cases, there’s a problem with the relaxed (or diastolic) phase of the heart’s pumping cycle. The condition is known as diastolic heart failure (or heart failure with preserved ejection fraction).

      It’s worth noting that an abnormally high ejection fraction (above 70%) could be an indication of a heart condition like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

      Symptoms of Low Ejection Fraction

      As mentioned earlier, a low ejection fraction (below 50%) is a sign of heart failure. It means that the heart is unable to pump an adequate amount of blood into the arteries. It results in a shortage of blood supply to various organs. Also, it causes excess blood to back up in the lungs.

      The most common symptoms of low LVEF include:

      • Shortness of breath
      • Mental confusion
      • Pale or bluish skin color
      • Swelling in the abdomen, feet, and legs
      • Weight gain (due to fluid buildup)
      • Loss of appetite
      • Coughing and wheezing

      Treatment of Low Ejection Fraction

      Cardiologists use a wide array of tests to detect a low ejection fraction and its underlying cause. These include ECG, echocardiogram, chest X-ray, etc. The course of treatment depends on the underlying disorder that’s causing low LVEF.

      The most common treatment options include medications, such as digoxin (to strengthen the heart’s contractions), beta-blockers (to ease the heart’s workload), and diuretics (to minimize fluid buildup in the body).

      Additionally, your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, exercise, and a healthy diet to improve LVEF. Also, it’s a good idea to avoid alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking.

      In Conclusion

      A low LVEF is a prominent sign of systolic heart failure. It can cause symptoms like shortness of breath and fluid buildup in the body. If you’ve been diagnosed with a low ejection fraction, consult your doctor to explore your treatment options.

      Dr. C Raghu is an eminent cardiologist with years of experience. He specializes in interventional cardiology. If you or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms of heart failure, feel free to consult Dr. Raghu today.

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        Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction Blog

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          Heart failure is an umbrella term for a set of physical symptoms arising due to the gradual deterioration in the heart’s pumping ability. The term “congestive heart failure” was traditionally used because the condition resulted in fluid buildup and congestion in the lungs.

          However, doctors and medical researchers have found that it causes a wide array of other symptoms. That’s why they now refer to the condition as heart failure.

          What Happens in Congestive Heart Failure?

          A healthy human heart relaxes and contracts nearly 100,000 times a day and pumps more than 2,000 gallons of blood throughout the body. The cardiovascular system also includes a network of arteries and veins to transport deoxygenated and oxygenated blood to and from the heart. If any part of the system falters, it can disrupt the flow of blood to vital organs.

          Heart failure is characterized by a progressive decline in the heart’s power to pump blood. When that happens, the heart goes through a series of structural changes (knowns as cardiac remodeling) and beats faster to pump more blood.

          Also, the blood vessels constrict to stabilize blood pressure and restrict blood supply to non-critical organs like the skin and kidneys. When blood flow to the kidneys reduces, it compels the body to retain more fluid and sodium.

          All these short-term fixes result in more damage and cause even more stress to the heart muscles. That, in turn, results in further deterioration of the heart’s pumping action.

          Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms: A Closer Look

           

          The symptoms of heart failure vary depending on whether they’re caused due to a lack of oxygen or an increase in fluid build.

          Lack of oxygen supply results in the following symptoms :

          • Confusion
          • Weight gain
          • Fatigue
          • Discolored or bluish skin

          Excess sodium and fluid buildup in the body causes the following symptoms:

          • Lung congestion
          • Shortness of breath
          • Coughing and wheezing
          • Loss of appetite
          • Swelling of feet and abdomen

          Causes and Types of Congestive Heart Failure

          The most common causes of heart failure include:

          • Coronary artery disease (Narrowing of arteries due to cholesterol buildup)
          • Damaged or dying heart tissue due to a heart attack
          • Cardiomyopathy (damage to the heart muscles)
          • Heart rhythm disturbances due to atrial fibrillation
          • Underlying medical conditions like hypertension and diabetes

          There are various ways to categorize congestive heart failure. Depending on the part of the heart’s pumping that’s affected due to heart failure, it can be of the following types:

          • Systolic heart failure or heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction
          • Diastolic heart failure or heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction

          Also, depending on the side of the heart that’s affected, heart failure can be categorized as left-sided failure and right-sided failure. The treatment approach a doctor will use depends on the type of heart failure a patient has developed.

          Stages of Heart Failure

          The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association has outlined four stages to denote the progression of heart failure. While Stage A is characterized by risk factors like underlying medical conditions, stage B shows structural changes in a patient’s heart. The more advanced stages (C and D) present visible symptoms.

          In Conclusion

          Heart failure (also known as congestive heart failure) is a progressive condition caused by the heart’s inability to pump blood adequately. It results in symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, weight gain, and brain fog.

          Dr. C Raghu is an eminent cardiologist with more than two decades of experience. If you or someone you know has developed congestive heart failure symptoms, consult Dr. Raghu to explore your treatment options.

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            Understanding Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms Blog

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              Congestive heart disease or heart failure is a serious condition that can be life-threatening (if left untreated). It can diminish blood supply to vital organs, such as the brain, liver, and kidneys. That, in turn, can lead to organ damage.

              Congestive Heart Disease

              In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into the causes and types of congestive heart failure. Also, we’ll understand the outlook for patients living with the condition. Let’s get started.

              What Are the Causes of Congestive Heart Failure?

              Congestive heart failure is characterized by a gradual deterioration in the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body. It can result in various symptoms, such as swelling in the abdomen, feet, and legs, shortness of breath, fatigue, weight gain, and loss of appetite. Read our blog post on heart failure symptoms for more details.

              Typically, the condition is the result of an abnormality in the cardiac muscles that interferes with the heart’s pumping function. It can be due to a congenital defect or an underlying illness that exerts the heart muscles.

              The most common causes of congestive heart disease include :

              The following factors also increase an individual’s risk of developing the condition:

              • A family history of cardiovascular diseases
              • Tobacco smoking
              • Alcohol consumption
              • Sedentary lifestyle
              • Substance abuse

              Types of Congestive Heart Failure

              Depending on the part of the heart’s pumping cycle that’s been affected, congestive heart failure can be of two types: systolic heart failure and diastolic heart failure.

              In systolic heart failure, the left ventricle becomes thin and weak and is unable to push an adequate amount of oxygen-rich blood into the arteries. It’s also known as heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.

              In diastolic heart failure, the ventricles become thick and stick, due to which the heart can relax and let an adequate amount of blood fill the chambers. It’s also known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

              Congestive heart failure can also be categorized into two types depending on the side of the heart that’s affected. This includes left-sided heart failure and right-sided heart failure.

              Acute Congestive Heart Failure

              The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have outlined four distinct stages of the progression of heart failure. Stage four, or the most advanced stage, is characterized by acute heart failure.

              At this stage, a patient experiences severe symptoms that don’t respond to standard treatments. They might need frequent hospitalization or specialized treatment to stay out of the hospital.

              Congestive Heart Failure Prognosis

              There’s no known cure for congestive heart failure. However, timely diagnosis, proper treatment, and lifestyle changes can be instrumental in improving a patient’s quality of life and longevity. Doctors usually use a cardiopulmonary stress test to predict your prognosis.

              The prognosis of congestive heart failure for a patient depends on various factors, including their age, sex, medical history, and lifestyle. Chronic ailments like diabetes can worsen your prognosis. Also, the stage at which heart failure is diagnosed influences the outlook.

              Dr. C Raghu is a world-renowned cardiologist who’s helped thousands of patients with cardiac ailments. He specializes in interventional cardiology and has nearly two decades of experience. If you or anyone you know has been diagnosed with congestive heart disease, feel free to consult Dr. Raghu right away.

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                Congestive Heart Disease: An Overview – Blog

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                  Heart failure is a serious condition that can result in organ damage and death (if left untreated). If you want more information about the different types and symptoms of heart failure, take a look at our previous blog posts.

                  In this article, we’ll explore the different causes of heart failure in greater detail. Let’s get started.

                  Heart Failure: A Closer Look

                  Heart failure refers to a condition where the heart is unable to pump blood throughout the body with maximum efficiency. It’s usually the result of progressive weakening, thickening, or stiffening of the heart muscles.

                  In the past, doctors used to refer to the condition as congestive cardiac failure because it leads to fluid buildup and congestion in the lungs. However, recent research shows that heart failure can cause several other symptoms.

                  Symptoms of Heart Failure

                  It’s possible for patients to develop heart failure without showing symptoms for months. That’s because they might attribute signs like confusion and fatigue to other factors, such as old age and stress.

                  However, if you’re at risk of developing heart failure, you should watch out for the following symptoms:

                  • Swelling in the abdomen, feet, and legs
                  • Shortness of breath that worsens due to physical exertion or when lying down
                  • Weight gain due to fluid buildup
                  • Loss of appetite
                  • Pale or bluish skin
                  Related : Understanding Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms

                  Causes of Heart Failure

                  Heart failure can be the result of various underlying conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, cardiomyopathy, and coronary artery disease. Also, it can be caused by damage to the heart muscles due to a viral or bacterial infection or a previous heart attack.

                  Moreover, faulty heart valves can strain the cardiac muscles and lead to heart failure. Similarly, heart rhythm disturbances can create structural changes in the left ventricle and cause heart failure.

                  It’s worth noting that people with a family history of cardiac ailments are more prone to developing heart failure. Also, the risk is higher in seniors and people with an African-American ethnic background. Alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, and substance abuse also increase the risk.

                  Types of Heart Failure

                  Depending on the phase of the heart’s pumping cycle that’s affected by congestive cardiac failure, the condition can be of two types:

                  • Systolic heart failure – Heart failure due to a problem in the contraction (systolic) phase of the pumping cycle; also known as heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.
                  • Diastolic heart failure – Heart failure due to a problem in the relaxed (diastolic) phase of the pumping cycle; also known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

                  Heart failure can also be categorized as:

                  • Left-sided heart failure (caused by a weak left ventricle)
                  • Right-sided heart failure (caused by a weak right ventricle)
                  Related : Types of Heart Failure

                  Stages of Heart Failure

                  The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) have identified four distinct stages of heart failure based on the degree of severity. The course of treatment for a patient depends on the stage of heart failure they’re at.

                  Diagnosing Heart Failure

                  Heart failure is diagnosed through a series of lab tests, including ECG, echocardiogram, coronary angiography, chest X-ray, brain natriuretic peptide test, etc. Doctors recommend the right combination of tests to identify the causes of heart failure and devise a suitable treatment plan.

                  Dr. C Raghu is an eminent cardiologist with more than two decades of experience. He specializes in interventional cardiology and has helped a plethora of patients with different heart conditions. If you’ve been diagnosed with heart failure, feel free to consult Dr. Raghu to explore your treatment options.

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                    Causes of Heart Failure – Blog

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                      Systolic-heart-failure-img.jpg

                      Heart failure is a common condition with no known cure. However, proper treatment can control the disease progression and thus improve a patient’s quality of life and longevity. To decide the proper course of treatment, a doctor must first determine the type of heart failure a patient has developed.

                      Depending on the part of the heart’s pumping cycle that’s been affected, heart failure can be of two types – diastolic and systolic. You can learn more about the symptoms, causes, treatment of diastolic dysfunction and differentiation from systolic dysfunction in our previous article.

                      In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into systolic heart failure and understand its causes and symptoms.

                      Systolic Heart Failure: A Closer Look

                      Systolic Heart Failure

                      Systolic heart failure occurs due to a problem in the heart’s contraction (or systolic) phase. It’s characterized by stretching and weakening of the left ventricular muscle, due to which the heart pumps out less oxygenated blood to the body.

                      It’s also known as heart failure with reduced ejection infraction. As the condition worsens, it can also weaken the right ventricle and take a toll on its pumping power too.

                      Related: What Are the Symptoms of Diastolic Dysfunction?

                      Causes of Systolic Heart Failure

                      Systolic heart failure is caused by underlying medical conditions that damage the left ventricle. The most common causes include :

                      • Hypertension (the left ventricle has to use increased pressure to pump blood through the body)
                      • Coronary artery disease (buildup of cholesterol in the arteries) – with or without a heart attack.
                      • Dilated cardiomyopathy (weakening of the left ventricle due to an infection or long-term exposure to alcohol and narcotics)
                      • Abnormal heart rhythm (also known as atrial fibrillation)
                      • Previous heart attack

                      Additionally, people who are older or have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing systolic heart failure.

                      Related: Understanding Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms

                      Symptoms of Systolic Heart Failure

                      In systolic heart failure, an adequate amount of oxygen-rich blood doesn’t reach all organs. The most common indicator of the condition is a lower ejection fraction.

                      It can result in the following symptoms:

                      • Breathlessness – initially on exertion and in later stages even at rest or lying down. 
                      • Swelling of feet, face, abdomen – due to fluid accumulation in various organs 
                      • Engorged and pulsatile neck veins
                      • Confusion (due to a lack of oxygen supply in the brain)
                      • Weight gain (due to a buildup of excess fluid in the body)
                      • Fatigue (due to reduced blood supply to the muscles)
                      • Pale or bluish skin tone (due to restricted blood supply to the skin and other vital organs).

                      Diagnosis and Treatment Options

                      Typically, a doctor prescribes various tests, such as chest X-ray, ECG, and echocardiography, to diagnose systolic heart failure and its root cause. The treatment plan depends on the underlying cause.

                      In most cases, systolic heart failure is treated using one or more of the following medications:

                      • Beta-blockers
                      • Diuretics or water pills
                      • ACE inhibitors
                      • Digoxin
                      • Anticoagulants

                      Additionally, doctors recommend a healthy diet and lifestyle changes to improve cardiac health and manage underlying conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes.

                      Related: Diagnosing Congestive Heart Failure

                      In Conclusion

                      If left untreated, systolic heart failure can damage vital organs and even lead to death. It’s crucial that patients watch out for symptoms like swollen feet, mental confusion, and bluish skin color and seek medical treatment at the earliest.

                      Dr. C Raghu is an experienced cardiologist who specializes in interventional cardiology and TAVR. If you or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms of systolic heart failure, connect with Dr. Raghu for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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                        What Is Systolic Heart Failure ? – Blog

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                          Left-heart-failiure.jpg

                          Depending on the side of the heart that’s been affected, heart failure can be of two types – left-sided and right-sided. We’ve already discussed the causes and symptoms of right-sided heart failure in one of our previous blogs.

                          It’s now time for us to dig deeper into left-sided heart failure, which is the most likely cause of right-sided heart failure. Let’s jump right in.

                          Related: What Is a Normal Ejection Fraction by Age?

                          What Is Left-Sided Heart Failure?

                          left sided heart failure

                          Left-sided heart failure is characterized by a decline in the heart’s pumping function. In this condition, the heart gradually loses its ability to pump blood from the left ventricle into the arteries.

                          The ejection fraction for a patient with left-sided heart failure is often lower than 50%. That, in turn, leads to a buildup of blood in the lungs and fluid in the body. Also, left-sided heart failure depletes vital organs of oxygen-rich blood.

                          Related: What Is Systolic Heart Failure?

                          What Are the Symptoms of Left-Sided Heart Failure?

                          The most common left-sided heart failure symptoms include:

                          • Shortness of breath
                          • Coughing and wheezing
                          • Weight gain (due to fluid buildup)

                          Additionally, a lack of an adequate blood supply to the brain can cause confusion. Also, it can result in fatigue.

                          What Causes Left-Sided Heart Failure?

                          Left-sided heart failure is the result of a gradual weakening of the heart’s left ventricle. It can happen due to underlying conditions, such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, and heart valve damage. It can also be the result of heart muscle damage due to a previous heart attack.

                          Related: Understanding Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms

                          Treatment of Left-Sided Heart Failure

                          Doctors treat left-sided heart failure based on its underlying cause. They can prescribe medication, such as ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, to manage conditions like hypertension. Additionally, many patients are prescribed diuretic pills to prevent fluid buildup due to heart failure.

                          Left-sided heart failure treatment also involves a healthy diet and lifestyle changes. For instance, a doctor might recommend that you follow an exercise routine and lose weight. Also, they’ll ask you to avoid smoking and alcohol consumption.

                          Left-Sided Heart Failure vs. Right-Sided Heart Failure

                          left sided heart failure

                           

                          In right-sided heart failure, the right ventricle becomes weak and has trouble pumping deoxygenated blood to the lungs. It’s usually a result of progression of a left-sided heart failure. People with right heart failure present with swelling of feet, face, abdomen and distended pulsatile neck veins. They can also present with generalised weakness and easy fatiguability. 

                          When the left ventricle doesn’t pump out an adequate amount of oxygenated blood to the circulatory system, some of the excess blood flows back into the lungs. This leads to breathlessness as the predominant symptom of left heart failure. This breathlessness can present initially on unaccustomed exertion to progress with less severe exercise and finally to breathlessness on lying flat. Left heart failure in turn, makes it difficult for the right ventricle to pump deoxygenated blood to the lungs. In the long run, it exerts the walls of the right ventricle and results in right-sided heart failure.

                          In Conclusion

                          Left-sided heart failure is a serious condition that can result in organ damage and right-sided heart failure. The condition can be treated with a combination of medicines, like beta-blockers and diuretics, and lifestyle changes.

                          Dr. C Raghu is an eminent cardiologist with more than two decades of experience. He’s been treating patients with various heart conditions, helping them live longer and healthier lives. If you or anyone you know has developed symptoms of left-sided heart failure, don’t hesitate to consult Dr. Raghu right away.

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                            Left-Sided Heart Failure – Blog

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                              The heart is a critical organ that powers the human body. It beats roughly 100,000 times a day and pumps more than 2,000 tons of blood throughout the body. 

                              Heart failure is a condition in which the heart gradually loses its pumping capacity. It can lead to symptoms like breathlessness, fluid buildup, and mental confusion. In the long run, it can result in organ damage and even death.

                              In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the symptoms, causes, and treatment of congestive cardiac failure. Let’s dive right in.

                              Congestive Cardiac Failure and Heart Failure: Are They the Same?

                              Traditionally, doctors used the terms congestive cardiac failure or congestive heart failure to refer to the progressive deterioration of the heart’s pumping action. They used “congestion” to describe the buildup of fluid in the lungs due to heart failure.

                              congestive cardiac failure

                              However, subsequent studies have shown that the condition can lead to other symptoms, such as swollen feet, fatigue, and mental confusion. That’s why doctors use the term heart failure nowadays.

                              Causes of Congestive Heart Failure

                              Irrespective of whether you call it congestive cardiac failure or simply heart failure, its most common causes include:

                              Additionally, damaged or dying heart tissue due to an infection or a previous heart attack can result in congestive cardiac failure. 

                              Related : Mitral Valve Stenosis : Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

                              Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure

                              congestive cardiac failure

                              The symptoms of congestive heart failure depend on whether it causes a lack of oxygen supply to the organs or excess fluid buildup in the body.

                              In the first case, the symptoms include mental confusion, fatigue, and discolored or bluish skin. In the second case, heart failure can lead to symptoms, such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, weight gain, swelling in the feet, legs, and abdomen, and loss of appetite.

                              Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure

                              The treatment of congestive heart failure depends on its underlying cause and the side of the heart that’s affected. A doctor will order a series of tests, such as chest X-ray, ECG, echocardiogram, and coronary angiography. Routine blood tests, such as lipid panel and electrolyte tests, might be needed, too.

                              Once the root cause is identified, your doctor can prescribe one or more of the following medications:

                              • Diuretic or water pills
                              • Beta-blockers
                              • ACE inhibitors or Angiotension receptor Neprilysin inhibitor 
                              • Digoxin
                              • Anticoagulants

                              Additionally, the doctor will recommend lifestyle changes, including exercise, a low-sodium diet, and weight loss. Also, they’ll ask you to quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption. In extreme cases, patients need a heart transplant or ventricular assist device (VAD) to improve their quality of life.

                              Wrapping Up

                              Congestive cardiac failure is a chronic condition with no known cure. If left untreated, it can lead to organ damage and death. However, a proper treatment plan comprising lifestyle changes and medications can help manage various symptoms.

                              Dr. C Raghu is a renowned cardiologist and a specialist in interventional cardiology. If you or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms of heart failure, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Raghu right away.

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                                Congestive Cardiac Failure – Blog

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                                  Role of ECG in Heart Failure 

                                  ecg

                                  ECG is a simple inexpensive test to asses heart function. ECG is the short form for electrocardiogram  or electrocardiography.

                                  ECG equips the doctor with basic heart information such as

                                  • Rhythm of heart – Regular or irregular. The most common irregular heart rhythm is atrial  fibrillation and frequently seen in heart failure patients. 
                                  • Heart rate – Normal heart rate is between 50-100 beats per minute. A slow heart rate (less  than 50) is called bradycardia and a fast rate (more than 100) is tachycardia.
                                  • Heart enlargement – Heart chambers enlargement can also be reasonably assessed. But the  best test to assess heart chamber enlargement is cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (Cardiac MRI).
                                  • Heart attack – current and those in the past can be identified by predefined patterns on ECG.

                                  Advanced information from ECG in Heart Failure 

                                  • Reduced blood supply to heart – if a patient had a previous heart attack it usually can be  diagnosed through an ECG. It is not necessary that all patients with reduced blood supply  can be identified through ECG. Coronary angiography is a common test performed by  doctors to estimate the blood supply to the heart.
                                  • Pumping efficiency of the heart – presence of an abnormal ECG usually indicates abnormal  heart efficiency. The common abnormalities on ECG include but not limited to – complete  bundle branch block, hemiblock, features indicating a previous heart attack or chamber  enlargement.  
                                  • Left bundle branch block (LBBB) – presence of LBBB (if the QRS duration is more than 150 m  seconds on ECG) and a reduced EF on echo (less than 35%) is a indication for specialized  therapies such as cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Resynchronization means re  establishing the synchronous beating of the heart. 
                                  • Abnormal rhythm may indicate need for advanced therapies such as pacemaker in heart  block, implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) if EF is less than 35% on echo, catheter  ablation in atrial fibrillation and abnormal ventricular rhythm.  
                                  • Unique and uncommon problems of the heart such as infiltrative disorder (amyloidosis,  restrictive cardiomyopathy) and rare diseases such as or arrhythmogenic RV dysplasia can be  identified on ECG.

                                  Does a normal ECG rule out a heart attack? 

                                  An ECG is a simple yet powerful tool to assess the heart function. But at the same time a normal ECG  does not rule out a heart attack or other diseases if the disease is quite early stage. If the disease is  advanced the ECG remains a quite predictable and powerful tool. So, if the person had a heart  attack, we do not entirely rely upon ECG but we additionally incorporate the value of high sensitive  troponin to make a confirmed diagnosis of heart attack.

                                  ECG complements advanced investigations 

                                  Information obtained from ECG is utilized while interpreting advanced tests such as  echocardiography (echo), coronary angiography, cardiac MRI, PET CT scan etc.  

                                  ECG is a powerful tool in advanced disease but in the early disease too it could be used as an adjunct  to other tests.


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                                    Heart Failure – Role of Electrocardiogram (ECG) Blog

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                                      Heart-failure.jpg

                                      Heart failure can be categorized into different types depending on various factors. While most conditions cause similar symptoms, clear identification of the type of heart failure is crucial for doctors to determine the proper course of treatment.

                                      You can check out our previous blogs for a detailed glimpse of heart failure symptoms. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at different types of heart failure. Let’s get started.

                                      Diastolic vs. Systolic Heart Failure

                                      Systolic heart failure is a condition characterized by an ejection fraction lower than 50%. Also known as heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, it’s the result of a problem in the contraction phase of the heart’s pumping cycle.

                                      It happens when the left ventricle weakens and fails to contract properly and pump an adequate amount of oxygenated blood into the arteries. As the condition worsens, it can compromise the right ventricle, too.

                                      Diastolic heart failure represents a problem in the relaxed phase of the heart’s pumping cycle. It happens when the ventricles become stiff and thick and can’t relax enough. That means an adequate amount of blood doesn’t fill the heart, causing it to back up in the lungs. Also known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, the condition is more common in elderly women with hypertension or diabetes.

                                      Left-Sided vs. Right-Sided Heart Failure

                                      In left-sided heart failure, the left ventricle becomes weak and doesn’t expel enough blood into the arteries. It causes fluid buildup in the lungs and leads to shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. Also, it results in a lack of adequate blood supply to the organs, resulting in confusion, fatigue, and pale skin color.

                                      The most common causes of left-sided heart failure include coronary artery disease, hypertension, heart valve damage, and dilated cardiomyopathy.

                                      Right-sided heart failure is characterized by a weak right ventricle, due to which an adequate amount of deoxygenated blood doesn’t reach the lungs. Instead, it flows back into the veins and results in swelling in the legs and abdomen. The most common cause of right-sided heart failure is left-sided heart failure.

                                      Compensated vs. Decompensated Heart Failure

                                      When a patient has heart failure, but their heart is functioning well enough not to cause any visible symptoms, the condition is known as compensated heart failure. As the condition progresses, it causes serious symptoms, such as breathlessness and fluid buildup, that require medical attention. This condition is known as decompensated heart failure.

                                      Decompensated heart failure is usually the result of a gradual deterioration of the heart pumping capacity due to pre-existing heart failure. However, if the onset of the condition is new and sudden, it is known as acute decompensated heart failure.

                                      End-Stage Heart Failure

                                      The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have defined four distinct stages of heart failure. End-stage heart failure refers to the final (most advanced stage), where a patient’s symptoms are severe enough to require hospitalization. Also, they might need specialized treatment to stay out of the hospital.

                                      In Conclusion

                                      Heart failure can be of various types, depending on its underlying causes and the severity of symptoms. Doctors use tests like ECG, echocardiogram, stress testing, etc., to identify the type of heart failure and determine the right course of treatment.

                                      If you or anyone you know has been experiencing symptoms of heart failure, feel free to reach out to Dr. C Raghu, one of India’s leading cardiologists.

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