Author Affiliation: Department of Cardiac Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, England.
The phrase heart failure encompasses a variety
of clinical syndromes. A simple and practical classification is acute heart
failure (pulmonary edema), circulatory failure (cardiogenic shock), and chronic
heart failure. Adjectives such as systolic and diastolic, overt, congestive,
decompensated, undulating, treated, or compensated are commonly added to the
latter syndrome. Other distinctions paraded as forward and backward, right-
and left-sided, high- and low-output heart failure are rightly out of favor
and limited to historical interest reflecting concepts that in large part
have been shown to be incorrect. In the last few decades, there have been
remarkable improvements in the treatment of chronic heart failure. The epidemiology
and implications of heart failure for health care have been appreciated, understanding
of the biology and physiology of heart failure has been advanced, new drugs
have become available, and the progress in cardiac transplantation has been
a catalyst for enthusiasm in the promotion of research.
Poole-Wilson PA. Treatment of Acute Heart FailureOut With the Old, In With the New. JAMA. 2002;287(12):1578-1580. doi:10.1001/jama.287.12.1578