Heart failure


Martina Feichter

Martina Feichter studied biology in Innsbruck with an optional subject in pharmacy and also immersed herself in the world of medicinal plants. From there it was not far to other medical topics that still captivate her today. She trained as a journalist at the Axel Springer Academy in Hamburg and has been working for lifelikeinc.com since 2007 - first as an editor and since 2012 as a freelance author.

More about the lifelikeinc.com experts at the heart failure (Heart failure, heart failure, myocardial insufficiency) the heart is no longer able to provide the body with sufficient blood and oxygen. The disease is one of the leading causes of death in Germany. Read all about this topic: What is heart failure? What causes can she have? Which symptoms occur? How is the heart failure diagnosed and treated?

ICD codes for this disease: ICD codes are internationally valid medical diagnosis codes. They are found e.g. in medical reports or on incapacity certificates. I50ArtikelübersichtHerzinsuffizienz

  • Causes and risk factors
  • classification
  • symptoms
  • Examinations and diagnosis
  • treatment
  • Disease course and prognosis

Heart failure: short overview

  • Causes: Heart muscle diseases, heart valve defects, high blood pressure, constriction of the coronary arteries (coronary heart disease), chronic lung diseases, heart valve defects, liver cirrhosis, drug side effect
  • symptoms: respiratory distress (dyspnea) during exercise or at rest, pale or blue discoloration of the lips and nail beds, edema v.a. on ankles and lower legs, rapid weight gain, nocturnal urination, palpitations, cardiac arrhythmia, low blood pressure
  • diagnosis: körperl. Examination, blood pressure measurement, interception of heart and lungs, cardiac ultrasound, chest X-ray, ECG / long-term ECG, cardiac catheter
  • Treatment: Antihypertensives, diuretics, slowing down of the heartbeat (e.g., beta-blockers), and fortifying the heart (e.g., digitalis). Depending on the cause surgery (for example, the heart valves, bypass, cardiac pacemaker), sometimes heart transplantation
What happens with heart failure? What do heart failure and weights have to do with each other? See here how heart failure develops, how to recognize it, and what the consequences are. What do cardiac weakness and weights have to do with each other? Here you can see how heart failure develops, how to recognize it and what the consequences are. To the table of contents

Heart failure: causes and risk factors

In heart failure (heart failure), the heart is no longer as powerful as a healthy heart. It can no longer sufficiently supply the tissue of the body with blood (and therefore oxygen). That can be life threatening. Heart failure can be due to several causes:

The most common cause of heart failure is calcification of the coronary arteries (Coronary heart disease, CHD). This calcification causes the vessels that supply the heart muscle to contract. As a result, the heart muscle is undersupplied and is not as powerful.

The second main cause applies High blood pressure (hypertension), In hypertension, the heart has to pump more permanently. For a long time, however, it does not endure this load - the pumping power decreases.

Other heart failure causes are Arrhythmia and Myocarditis, Also Defects of the heart septum and Valvular heart disease (congenital or acquired) can lead to heart failure. The same applies to fluid accumulation in the pericardium (pericardium effusion or pericardial effusion).

Cause of heart failure can also Cardiomyopathies (Cardiomyopathy). These in turn can be caused by infection or excessive alcohol, drug or drug abuse. A special case is the so-called stress cardiomyopathy. It comes after a serious traumatic event suddenly to a life-threatening heart failure. After some time, the heart function normalizes but usually again. So there is no lasting heart failure. Life expectancy and quality of life are therefore not impaired after a surviving stress cardiomyopathy.

Metabolic disorders may also play a role in the development of heart failure. Examples are diabetes mellitus (diabetes) as well as disorders of thyroid function (such as thyrotoxicosis = excess of thyroid hormones).

Diseases of the lung such as pulmonary emphysema or COPD are other potential heart failure causes. In particular, the rare right ventricular failure (dysfunction of the right half of the heart) may be due to a lung disease.

In some people, heart failure develops as a result of anemia (Anemia), one cirrhosis or one AV fistula (AV-shunt). The latter is an abnormal shorting connection between an artery and a vein.

Sometimes cause too drugs a heart failure. This risk exists, for example, in certain remedies for cardiac arrhythmias, certain anticancer drugs (antineoplastic agents), appetite suppressants and migraine medications (such as ergotamine).

Systolic and diastolic heart failure

Heart failure is generally composed of two parameters: systolic and diastolic heart failure.

The term systolic heart failure (also known as congestive heart failure) refers to the reduced pumping capacity of the heart: the pumping function and the output of the left ventricle (ventricle) are reduced. As a result, the organs are no longer adequately supplied with blood.

However, heart failure is described inadequately. In addition to systolic heart failure, diastolic heart failure usually occurs. This means that the heart chambers are no longer adequately filled with blood. Mostly the left ventricle is enlarged morbidly and can not be sufficiently filled. As a result, less blood is then transferred to the systemic circulation. This leads to an undersupply of the body with oxygen. Diastolic heart failure occurs especially in old age. Women are affected more often than men.

Diastolic and systolic heart failure each have different causes and differ in heart failure therapy and prognosis.