Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy
A Better and Longer Life for Patients With Advanced Heart Failure
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Heart failure is a condition in which the heart muscle cannot function properly. It can result from the heart muscle becoming stiff over time or from a gradual weakening that results in a decreased ability to pump blood to the body. The weakening of the heart muscle, called systolic heart failure, is most commonly a result of processes such as heart attacks, heart valve abnormalities, uncontrolled hypertension, and viral illnesses, although a number of other conditions can cause the heart to weaken as well.
What Is the Treatment for Heart Failure?
Treating the underlying cause of the heart failure is the first step of management, whether it is through medicine or surgery to repair a blocked artery or a damaged heart valve or by controlling blood pressure. Even if the cause of the heart failure is unknown (idiopathic), the medical regimen used is the same as for the other causes of heart failure. A sensible diet with salt and fluid restriction, exercise, and medications such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and beta-blockers, often with diuretics (sometimes called water pills), are therapies aimed at relieving the stress the weakened heart is undergoing.
What Can Be Done for Patients Who Have Symptoms of Heart Failure Despite Treatment?
In cases in which an individual is still suffering from the symptoms of heart failure (such as shortness of breath at rest or with minimal activity, fluid retention …