Types of Heart failure


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Types list: The list of types of Heart failure mentioned in various sources includes:

Types discussion: The term congestive heart failure is often used to describe all patients with heart failure. In reality, congestion (the buildup of fluid) is just one feature of the condition and does not occur in all patients. There are two main categories of heart failure although within each category, symptoms and effects may differ from patient to patient. The two categories are:

  • Systolic heart failure--This occurs when the heart's ability to contract decreases. The heart cannot pump with enough force to push a sufficient amount of blood into the circulation. Blood coming into the heart from the lungs may back up and cause fluid to leak into the lungs, a condition known as pulmonary congestion.

  • Diastolic heart failure--This occurs when the heart has a problem relaxing. The heart cannot properly fill with blood because the muscle has become stiff, losing its ability to relax. This form may lead to fluid accumulation, especially in the feet, ankles, and legs. Some patients may have lung congestion.
1

There are two main categories of heart failure – systolic and diastolic - and within each category, symptoms can differ from person to person. Systolic heart failure happens when the heart’s ability to pump blood decreases. The heart cannot push enough blood into the circulatory system, causing blood coming into the heart from the lungs to back up and leak fluid into the lungs (called pulmonary congestion). Diastolic heart failure occurs when the heart has trouble relaxing or resting. The heart muscle becomes stiff and cannot fill with blood, causing fluid to buildup (most often in the feet, ankles, and legs) and lung congestion2

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from NHLBI, Heart Failure: NHLBI
2. excerpt from HEART AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE: NWHIC

Last revision: May 29, 2003

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