Heart Suffufficiency: What Is Heart Insufficiency Or Heart Failure?

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Heart Insufficiency

What is heart insufficiency or heart failure ?

First of all it is important to clarify what heart insufficiency means. Heart failure is a chronic and progressive condition in which the the heart can’t pump blood properly through the body. It can’t keep up the body’s demands of blood and oxygen.
The heart tries to compensate the lack of blood supply by various options:


The heart stretches to contract stronger than usual which leads to an enlarging of the heart. This an attempt to provide normal blood supply.

2. Developing more muscle mass:

The contracting cells of the heart become bigger. Consequently an increase of the muscle size of the heart occurs and stronger pumping.

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ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI)

This is an acute myocardial infarctions as well. It correlates with a completely coronary closure by a thrombus which leads to myocardial necrosis.

Types of heart failure

Left-sided heart failure

Systolic failure: Can be described as a heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. Caused by a not properly contraction of the left ventricle. The heart can’t develop enough force to pump enough blood into the circulation.
Diastolic failure: This is a heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. The heart muscle becomes stiff because the left ventricle can’t relax normally leading to a heart which can’t be filled with blood fully.

2. Right-sided heart failure

It is mostly a result from left-sided heart failure. When the left ventricle fails to contract as usual then inside the lungs is an increased fluid pressure. Consequently the right heart side will be damaged due to the elevated pressure. Furthermore blood backs up in the body veins which leads swelling or congestion in the legs.

3. Congestive heart
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It is implanted under the patients skin in the chest with wires leading through veins and into the heart. Monitoring the heart rhythm and trying to pace or shock the heart back to the normal rhythm if the heart stops is the main function of the ICD. But it can also speed the heart rate up if it is too low.

Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) / biventricular pacing:

Timed electrical impulses to the left and right ventricles are send by a biventricular pacemaker. The heart’s electrical system is affected by heart failure combined with an already weakened heart leads to an uncontrolled heart rhythm. Biventricular pacemakers are often combined with ICDs.

Heart pumps:

Devices like ventricular assist devices (VAD) are implanted into the abdomen or chest and connected to the heart. VADs are often used in the left ventricle but can be also used in the right or even both ventricles. It is made for patients who wait for a transplant organ. But sometimes it is also used as an
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