Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition where the heart does not have the ability to pump blood, which is different than cardiac arrest. In cardiac arrest, the heart has the ability to pump blood but stops beating anyway.
CHF is different than cardiac arrest. In cardiac arrest, the heart has the ability to pump blood but stops beating anyway.
CHF is usually chronic. It leads to a buildup of blood in the liver, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the extremities, and the lungs. Right-sided heart failure leads to a blood pool in the GI tract and extremities, while left-sided heart failure leads to a blood pool in the lungs.
In some cases of CHF, the heart can’t pump blood out of its chambers well. In other cases, the heart muscle is stiff and the heart can’t fill with blood easily.
Symptoms usually appear gradually, although they can appear suddenly. Common symptoms include:
Your doctor will do a number of tests to diagnose the problem. Tests include an echocardiogram, a noninvasive technique that bounces sound waves from the chest onto the heart to create a moving picture of the heart. It creates a clearer picture than an X-ray can provide.
Other tests your doctor can perform to diagnose CHF include cardiac catheterization, chest CT scan, chest X-ray, and electrocardiogram.
CHF can be treated in a number of ways, including the following options.
To schedule an appointment with a congestive heart failure expert at UT Southwestern's facilities in Dallas or for more information about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.