Pathophysiology of Acute Heart Failure

  • M. C. Aumont
  • A. Cohen-Solal
  • R. Gourgon
Part of the Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (UICM, volume 6)


Heart failure is usually defined as the inability of the heart to secure, in normal conditions (i.e. with low upstream venous pressures), the necessary blood flow to meet the metabolic and functional requirements of the various organs. This definition is deliberately vague, encompassing various etiologies, pathophysiological mechanisms and clinical manifestations. The inadequacy of the heart to meet the requirements of the organism results clinically in a pressure elevation upstream of the failing heart and/or a reduction of the stroke volume that may further lead to reduced blood supply to the peripheral circulations. The elevation of upstream pressures is responsible for signs of congestive heart failure in the corresponding venous circulation. A reduction of flow, and an inadequate adjustment of the peripheral circulations to counteract it, lead to signs of acute circulatory failure and even shock.


Acute Myocardial Infarction Pulmonary Capillary Wedge Pressure Acute Heart Failure Ventricular Failure Atrial Contraction 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. Aumont
  • A. Cohen-Solal
  • R. Gourgon

There are no affiliations available

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