Any patient with shortness of breath, exercise intolerance/fatigue and peripheral oedema is suspect of heart failure.
Essentials of diagnosis include signs or symptoms of fluid overload, a displaced/broadened apical impulse, murmur,
in elderly persons, male sex, prior CAD, and diabetes.
Of additional tests, NTproBNP is the most valuable. An echocardiogram is essential for diagnosis and a good insight in the causes of heart failure.
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Dr. Frans Rutten - Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Heart failure occurs when the ventricles have a reduced ability to fill or to eject blood, resulting in an insufficient cardiac output to satisfy the metabolic needs of the body. There is a common perception that heart failure is a disease of the elderly, which has a slow onset in primary care and is always left sided.
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