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NURS 201
Marywyatt Sindlinger

Lec 10 ETIOLOGY AND PATHOPHYSIOLOGY  Heart failure (HF) is an abnormal clinical condition involving impaired cardiac pumping that results in the characteristic pathophysiologic changes of vasoconstriction and fluid retention.  HF is characterized by ventricular dysfunction, reduced exercise tolerance, diminished quality of life, and shortened life expectancy.  Risk factors include coronary artery disease (CAD) and advancing age. Hypertension, diabetes, cigarette smoking, obesity, and high serum cholesterol also contribute to the development of HF. CLASSIFICATION  Heart failure is classified as systolic or diastolic failure. o Systolic failure, the most common cause of HF, results from an inability of the heart to pump blood. o Diastolic failure is an impaired ability of the ventricles to relax and fill during diastole. Decreased filling of the ventricles will result in decreased stroke volume and cardiac output (CO). CLINICAL MANIFESTATIONS  HF can have an abrupt onset or it can be an insidious process resulting from slow, progressive changes. Compensatory mechanisms are activated to maintain adequate CO.  To maintain balance in HF, several counter regulatory processes are activated, including the production of hormones from the heart muscle to promote vasodilation.  Cardiac compensation occurs when compensatory mechanisms
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