Cardiac insufficiency exists when the heart cannot make the output which is needed for the organism to function, meaning the necessary amount of blood enriched with oxygen from the walls.
1 to 3 % of the population are generally affected
Approximately 120 000 new cases per year
5 % of more than 75 years old seem to be affected in France by this disease and it is said that it would affect more than 1 billion persons…
What does cardiac insufficiency mean ?
Cardiac insufficiency may concern :
- The left heart :
it may concern a left ventricular insufficiency or a right cardiac one
- Tthe right heart :
this may concern a right ventricular insufficiency or a right cardiac one
It can be very acute : a cardiac shock, even a collapse, but is as chronic, and this the most frequent case..
It can appear under different forms :
- A systolic dysfunction, corresponding to a reduced contractile capacity of the right ventricular
- A diastolic dysfunction, corresponding to an anomaly of relaxation capacity of the heart fibres, which are disturbing the way of filling up of the ventricular: too slow for what is needed, retarded or even in an incomplete manner.
What causes a cardiac insufficiency ?
Some of the most frequent causes for cardiac insufficiency are :
- previous cardiac crisis
- Coronary artery disease
- Arterial hypertension
- Valvulopathie cardiac
- Cardiomyopathie or inflammation of the heart
- Congenical malformation of the heart
- Alcohol or drug consumption
Conditions which can cause this type of cardiac insufficiency namely are :
- an Infection
- a kidney disease or kidney dysfunction
- Abnormal cardiac rhythm
- Thyroid gland hyperactivity
This cardiac insufficiency can often get better, if these conditions for causing it are treated.
Other causes, like diabetes, can aggravate a cardiac insufficiency.
Which are its symptoms ?
The dyspnea (respiratory difficulty) is its principal symptom :
The patient is feeling a difficulty in breathing during efforts (dyspnea of effort), either lying in bed or feeling some crisis in the night.
The cardiac liver is big and very painful. The aches coming from an effort are arriving brutally or, on the contrary as more dull aches, seeming like a heaviness in the region of the right hip or in the hollow of the epigastric with a radiation do the backbone. This ache forces the patient to stop, then it will disappear. It is coming back as soon as the patient takes up the effort again (a walk, eating). It can give the impression of a confusion with an hepatic colic, or even with an urgent abdominal surgery (appendicitis, etc.).
Which therapies are there ?
- Respecting a diet of hygiene and low amount of salt
- diuretic therapy
- the clearing of phlegm from chest and lungs
- therapy with digitalis
- anticoagulant therapy