Acute heart failure is defined as the heart failure of a new onset of cardiac failure (acute de novo heart failure) or worsening of preexisting heart failure (acute decompensated heart failure). This condition is dangerous and requires immediate handling and hospital care.
Heart failure, in general, is a syndrome consisting of signs and clinical symptoms caused by abnormalities of the structure and/or cardiac function that causes decrease in cardiac output and/or increased intraventricular pressure.
In general, heart failure is a disorder of the structure and function of the heart, resulting in the failure of oxygen supply by meeting the metabolic needs of tissues, albeit with normal filling pressure.
Heart failure is defined as a clinical syndrome accompanied by:
- Typical symptoms of heart failure in the form of shortness of breath either during rest or exercise, fatigue, swelling of the ankles
- Specific signs of heart failure, such as tachycardia, tachypnea, wet crackles lungs, pleural effusion, increased pressure on Jugular veins, peripheral edema, and hepatomegaly
- Evidence of structural and functional disorders, such as cardiomegaly, S3 sound, heart murmur, abnormal echoes image, and the presence of increased natriuretic peptide concentrations.
Acute heart failure has been a worldwide health problem as well as a significant cause of the number of treatments in hospitals with high costs. This disease is a leading cause of treatment in cardiovascular disease in Europe. In Europe and the United States the mortality rate in hospitals due to this disease ranged from 4-7%. About 10% of the patients who survive are at risk of dying in the next 60 days.
The prevalence of heart failure in America and Europe is about 1 – 2%. It is estimated that 5.3 million Americans today have chronic heart failure and at least 550,000 cases of new heart failure are diagnosed annually. Patients with acute heart failure approximately 20% of all cases of heart failure. The prevalence of heart failure increases with age, 80% are over 65 years old.
Classification of heart failure
To assess the degree of impaired functional capacity of heart failure, it was first introduced by the New York Heart Association (NYHA) in 1994, which divides the disease of heart failure into 4 classifications.
- Class I is tightness during excessive activity.
- Class II tightness during moderate activity
- Class III tightness occurs during light activities
- Class IV tightness occurs during activity
As for the latest classification of the American College Of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) in the year 2005, which emphasizes the degree of severity of heart failure based on clinical symptoms and structural abnormalities of Heart.
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) divides heart failure into 6 classes based on the patient’s clinical and hemodynamic conditions:
- Class I: Decompensated acute heart failure
- Class II: acute hypertensive heart failure
- Class III: Acute heart failure with pulmonary edema.
- Class IV: Acute heart failure with impaired breath, hypoxia, and decreased cardiac output (IVa) to the presence of cardiogenic shock (IVb).
- Class V: Heart failure with severe cardiac output failure, usually associated with anemia, thyrotoxicosis, and Paget’s disease
- Class VI: Right heart failure, usually in patients with a history of pulmonary disease and Cor pulmonale.
Acute heart failure causes
Acute heart failure (AHF) is defined as a rapid heart attack characterized by signs and symptoms of heart failure resulting in medical action as soon as possible due to its dangerous and deadly nature. The disease of acute heart failure is one of the medical emergency that requires special attention in its treatment.
Sudden cessation of cardiac function can be caused by:
- Cardiac ischemia
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Heart valve Dysfunction
- Pericarditis disease
- Elevation of the ventricular filling pressure or the increase of systemic circulation resistance..
Thus the cause of acute heart failure can be caused by various factors and diseases related to heart disease. In addition to acute heart failure can also be caused by non-compliance with heart disease patients to consume drugs or medical advice provided by the doctor.
Read also: 7 Things that can cause heart disease
Signs and symptoms of acute heart failure
Signs and symptoms of acute heart failure, among others:
- Symptoms: Dispnea, ortopnea, swelling of the lower extremities
- Signs: Increased jugular vein pressure, lung congestion