Diagnosis of congestive heart failure is usually done based on the patientís medical history, physical examination and a set of specific investigations.
Symptoms described in the previous section and additional findings like a history of heart attack, hypertension, diabetes, or alcohol abuse may provide clues.
Physical examination focuses on: finding the extra fluid and the associated features like oedema, changes in the neck veins, breath sounds. Auscultation of the heart speaks out the diagnoses to experienced clinicians.
Useful diagnostic techniques include:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Chest X-ray
- Very rarely biopsy of the heart tissue may be performe
- The blood test for BNP (brain natriuretic peptide level) is also helpful. BNP typically elevates during heart failure.
- Cecil Medicine, 23rd Ed.
- Harrison''s PRINCIPLES OF INTERNAL MEDICINE, 17TH Edition
- Amsterdam EA. Revised American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines for the management of heart failure. Prev Cardiol. 2005 Fall;8(4):254, 256.
- Heart Failure Society Of America. Evaluation and management of patients with acute decompensated heart failure. J Card Fail. 2006 Feb;12(1):e86-e103. Review.