The heart is made up of four chambers: two atria and two ventricles. The ventricles make up the lower chambers of the heart. They pump blood during the contraction of the muscles. This event is called systole. After each ventricular contraction (systole) the ventricle muscles take some time to relax during which blood from the upper chambers (atria) fills them. This is the diastole.
A number of conditions cause diminished pumping ability of the ventricles. Heart attacks and infections (myocarditis) weaken the ventricular muscles leading to systolic dysfunction.
Congestive heart failure can be caused by:
- Diseases in which the heart muscle weakens
- Diseases in which the heart muscles stiffens
- Conditions where oxygen demand by the body tissue is beyond the capacity of the heart (It is the heart that has to deliver adequate oxygen-rich blood)
In some patients the pumping action remains normal but the body requirements are much higher than what the heart can deliver. Conditions like anaemia or hyperthyroidism are often responsible for this.
In some individuals one or more of these factors can co-exist and may present as a congestive heart failure. Let us focus on the congestive heart failure that is due to heart muscle weakness, i.e. systolic dysfunction.
Latest Publications and Research on Congestive Heart FailureThe German Cardiac Society and development of cardiovascular research and medicine in Germany. - Published by PubMed
Chronic Inhibition of 11 ß -Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 Activity Decreases Hypertension, Insulin Resistance, and Hypertriglyceridemia in Metabolic Syndrome. - Published by PubMed
A Review of the Use of Angiotensin Receptor Blockers for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Patients with Essential Hypertension Without Compelling Indications (May). - Published by PubMed
Right atrial angiosarcoma with severe biventricular dysfunction and massive pericardial effusion. - Published by PubMed
Improvement of Arterial Stiffness in the Transition From Acute Decompensated Heart Failure to Chronic Compensated Heart Failure. - Published by PubMed