Prolonged Bed Rest in the Treatment of the Dilated Heart
In addition to the clinical disadvantages of progressive congestive heart failure, thromboembolic phenomena, and rhythm disturbances there are hemodynamic effects of considerable magnitude that arise from cardiac dilatation. While fully cognizant of all these factors, we are also aware of the limitations of conventional therapy in effecting return of heart size to normal. Prolonged complete bed rest in conjunction with conventional forms of therapy is being utilized in patients with idiopathic myocardial disease and cardiac dilatation in an effort to unload the heart. It is thought that the minimization of cardiac work, a good diet, and avoidance of alcohol, pregnancy, infection, and the like have permitted recovery and return of heart size to normal in approximately half of the patients treated thus far. Continuation of therapy and close observation by the physician after ambulation and discharge from the hospital cannot be overemphasized.
- © 1965 American Heart Association, Inc.