Pathophysiology of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Heart Failure, also known as Congestive Heart Failure, is a clinical syndrome that results from the progressive process of remodeling, in which mechanical and biochemical forces alter the size, shape, and function of the ventricle’s ability to pump enough oxygenated blood to meet the body’s metabolic requirements. Compensatory mechanisms of increased heart rate, vasoconstriction, and hypertrophy eventually fail, leading to the characteristic syndrome of heart failure: Elevated ventricular or atrial pressures, sodium and water retention, decreased cardiac output, and circulatory and pulmonary congestion. Systolic dysfunction occurs when the left ventricle is unable to relax and fill sufficiently to accommodate enough oxygenated blood returning from the pulmonary circuit. Systolic dysfunction leads to increased vascular resistance and increased afterload. Diastolic dysfunction leads to pulmonary vascular congestion.