cardiac failure

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heart fail·ure

1. inadequacy of the heart so that as a pump it fails to maintain the circulation of blood, with the result that congestion and edema develop in the tissues;
See also: forward heart failure, backward heart failure, right ventricular failure, left ventricular failure. Synonym(s): cardiac failure, cardiac insufficiency, congestive heart failure, myocardial insufficiency
2. resulting clinical syndromes include shortness of breath, pitting or nonpitting edema, enlarged tender liver, engorged neck veins, and pulmonary rales in various combinations.

cardiac failure

heart failure

The loss of the heart’s ability to effectively pump blood, which may affect the right, left, or both sides of the heart. With the loss of pumping action on the right side, blood may back up into other areas of the body (e.g., the liver, GI tract, extremities); the heart may be unable to pump blood efficiently to or through the lungs.

Heart failure syndromes
Acute heart failure
Abrupt onset of dyspnoea, pulmonary oedema, left-sided heart disease.

Circulatory collapse 
Hypotension, oliguria, poor peripheral circulation, cold blue extremities.
• Cardiogenic—Acute left ventricular disease—e.g., acute myocardial infarction.
• Peripheral—e.g., blood loss, gram-negative septicaemia.

Chronic heart failure
Dyspnoea, poor exercise tolerance, peripheral oedema, two-pillow sleeping, chronic lung disease.

Heart failure signs at autopsy
Pulmonary and pedal oedema—sensitive but nonspecific; also, hepatic congestion, bilateral pleural effusions ± ascites, ventricular hypertrophy or dilation, clear history of heart failure or treatment with a diuretic, beta blocker, or ACE inhibitor.

cardiac failure

See Congestive heart failure, Heart failure, Left heart failure, Right heart failure.


1. pertaining to the heart. See also heart.
2. pertaining to the gastric cardia.

cardiac afterload
the impedance to ventricular emptying presented by aortic pressure.
cardiac area
cardiac biopsy
an uncommon clinical procedure. May be performed via thoracotomy or with a biopsy catheter introduced intravenously.
cardiac catheterization
the insertion of a catheter into a vein or artery and guiding it into the interior of the heart for purposes of measuring cardiac output, determining the oxygen content of blood in the heart chambers, and evaluating the structural components of the heart.
cardiac compensation
in cardiac disease the compensation for the inefficiency of the heart's pump action by enlisting the various reserves of the heart such as hypertrophy, enlargement, increase in rate, so as to maintain circulatory equilibrium and prevent the appearance of signs of congestive heart failure.
cardiac compression
an emergency measure to empty the ventricles of the heart in an effort to circulate the blood, and also to stimulate the heart so that it will resume its pumping action. Involves the application of pressure through the thoracic wall. More commonly used in animals than other forms of cardiac massage.
cardiac conducting cells
specialized cardiac fibers modified to conduct impulses from the A-V node via the septum to the ventricles. Called also Purkinje fibers.
cardiac conducting system
the cardiac tissue responsible for electrical conduction, made up of the sinoatrial node, the atrioventricular node, and the atrioventricular bundle and cardiac conducting fibers.
cardiac depressor nerve
a branch of the vagus nerve composed of afferent nerve fibers which arise around the base of the heart; called also aortic nerve.
cardiac dilatation
the heart volume is increased but the effective mass of cardiac muscle is not. A dilated heart has lost some of its reserve.
cardiac dullness
the area of the chest wall over which a dull sound, indicating the position of the heart, can be elicited by percussion.
cardiac failure
cardiac fibrillation
see ventricular fibrillation.
cardiac fibrosis
see cardiac cirrhosis.
cardiac flow load
the work required of the heart can be increased by a need for an increased flow rate of blood, e.g. when there is an anastomosis, congenital arteriovenous defect, portosystemic shunt.
cardiac function curves
statistical curves used in modeling the cardiovascular functions, relating e.g. venous return to cardiac output.
cardiac glands
in the cardiac region of the gastric wall; branched, tubular, coiled, mucus-secreting.
cardiac glycosides
the glycosides of Digitalis purpurea (digitoxin, gitalin and gitoxin) and digoxin (from D. lanata). Strophanthin and ouabain are glycosides found in Strophanthus spp. Other cardiac glycosides are present in the skin of toads (Bufo maritimus, B. vulgaris), but are of toxicological rather than therapeutic interest.
cardiac horse sickness
see african horse sickness.
cardiac hypertrophy
enlargement of the heart coincident with an increase in muscle mass; an indication of response to an increase in load which may or may not be associated with disease. It is an expression of cardiac compensation but some of the cardiac reserve has been lost.
cardiac impulse
see cardiac impulse. Called also apex beat.
cardiac index
cardiac output divided by the animal's body surface area in m2. The normal range for dogs is 1.8-3.5 l/m2.
left-sided cardiac enlargement
may involve either the left ventricle or atrium, or both, and can be demonstrated on radiographs and electrocardiography. Seen most commonly in mitral valvular disease in dogs.
cardiac massage
manual massage of the heart or stimulation with an electrical current through an open thoracic wall. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with cardiac compression.
cardiac mucosa
the most cranial of the gastric mucosae; secretes only mucus, except in pigs, in which the area covered by this mucosa is much larger than in the other species and bicarbonate is also secreted.
cardiac murmur
see heart murmur.
cardiac output
the volume of blood pumped per unit of time. May be calculated by oxygen consumption measurement or determined by dilution of indocyanine green or cold saline, using catheters with thermistors placed intravenously (thermodilution method). It can be estimated clinically by measuring heart rate, pulse quality or pressure, and assessment of tissue perfusion, e.g. capillary refill time.
cardiac pacing
employing cardiac pacemakers to control heart rate.
cardiac preload
ventricular end-diastolic volume.
cardiac pressure load
the stress of working against an elevated blood pressure in the arterial circuit; one of the two major groups of causes of heart disease; the other is flow load.
cardiac racing syndrome
a disease of companion birds manifested by a sudden increase in heart rate, up to 1000/min, in the period immediately after being restrained. Death occurs within a few seconds.
cardiac reserve
the reserve mechanisms in the heart to compensate for defects which could make the heart's pumping action ineffective. The reserve mechanisms include hypertrophy, enlargement, increase in heart rate and an increase in stroke volume, a result of the increase in muscle mass and the enlargement of the ventricles.
right-sided cardiac enlargement
may involve either the right ventricle or atrium. Occurs in heartworm disease in dogs.
cardiac rupture
penetration of the myocardium by a reticular foreign body in cows, or rupture of a patch of chronic fibrotic myocarditis in horses, causes cardiac tamponade and sudden death.
cardiac size
may increase as a result of hypertrophy, dilatation or a combination of the two. A common belief with some scientific support is that performance of horses in sprint races is closely related to heart size.
cardiac stroke volume
the amount of blood ejected with each systole.
cardiac thrill
see thrill.
cardiac valve fenestration
the valve surface is incomplete, creating a lattice effect; mostly congenital defects in foals.
cardiac valve hematocysts
congenital, blood-filled cysts on the atrioventricular valves considered to be of no pathogenic significance.
cardiac valve laceration
tearing of the valve tissue or attachment to myocardium may occur spontaneously or as a sequel to endocarditis; adds a significant additional flow load to the heart.
cardiac valve rupture
see cardiac valve laceration (above).
cardiac valves
heart valves formed by evaginations of the cardiac and vascular endothelium supported by connective tissue; includes atrioventricular and semilunar valves on both sides of the heart.
cardiac valvular disease
see valvular disease.
cardiac vascular shunts
includes patent foramen ovale, ventricular septal defect, tetralogy of Fallot, patent ductus arteriosus.
cardiac work
includes effective work—that needed for the onward propulsion of blood through the correct channels against arterial pressure, total work—includes all of the work performed by the heart including some involved in moving blood in the wrong direction.

Patient discussion about cardiac failure

Q. What Is the Treatment for Congestive Heart Failure? My mother is 76 years ols and has been suffering from a heart disease for many years. Lately she has developed congestive heart failure. How is this situation treated?

A. In addition to everything else, she might try CoQ10, a supplement available at most nutrition stores.

"Congestive heart failure has been strongly correlated with significantly low blood and tissue levels of CoQ10 ....

[In numerous studies] treatment with CoQ10 significantly improved heart muscle function while producing no adverse effects or drug interactions."

Q. congestive heart failure how it works is it to do with fluid built up in your body

A. Congestive heart failure (CHF), or heart failure, is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to the body's other organs. The "failing" heart keeps working but not as efficiently as it should. People with heart failure can't exert themselves because they become short of breath and tired.
As blood flow out of the heart slows, blood returning to the heart through the veins backs up, causing congestion in the tissues. Often swelling (edema) results. Most often there's swelling in the legs and ankles, but it can happen in other parts of the body, too. Sometimes fluid collects in the lungs and interferes with breathing, causing shortness of breath, especially when a person is lying down.
Heart failure also affects the kidneys' ability to dispose of sodium and water. The retained water increases the edema.

Q. describe the symptoms of congestive heart failure

A. From my own expierience, EM24 gave an accurate answer. My edema also affects my hands as well as ankles. I was given a Xopenex HFA inhaler to use if lungs are affected.

More discussions about cardiac failure
References in periodicals archive ?
This study investigated the effectiveness of recombinant human brain natriuretic peptide (rhBNP) by treating elders with AMI induced cardiac failure by rhBNP.
Diastolic dysfunction is a myocardial insufficiency which constitutes the half of cardiac failure cases.
High output cardiac failure due to excessive shunting in a haemodialysis access fistula: an easily overlooked diagnosis.
Congestive cardiac failure occurred in 21% of our patients which is slightly lower than in some other studies.
We did a review of major clinical trials of bortezomib in patients with multiple myeloma, Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia and plasma cell leukaemia (Table 2) to investigate the incidence of congestive cardiac failure reported after administration of bortezomib.
The infant type presents with myocardial ischaemia or infarction and/or cardiac failure, and has a mortality rate of 90% within the first year of life.
Reports of the post mortem conducted on the dead indicate that the cause of death was respiratory and cardiac failure.
This is as a result of the malformed Vein of Galen shunt imposing a 'load' on the right side of the heart leading to cardiac failure (Bhattacharya & Thammoroj, 2003).
87% of the children born with this anomaly are symptomatic during the infancy and 65-85% are lost with cardiac failure before the age of one and especially around 2-3 months of age (2).
This type of cardiac failure can affect 14 to 35-year-olds and lie undetected.
A new blood test might reveal heart damage that puts some people at a hidden higher risk of cardiac failure or death, researchers report in the Dec.
Other causes of deaths included multi-organ failure, cardiac failure, metabolic complications and disseminated intravascular coagulation.