OPEN The Korean journal of internal medicine | 10 Apr 2018
P Martens and W Mullens
Acute heart failure is a common complication of chronic heart failure and is associated with a high risk for subsequent mortality and morbidity. In 90% of case acute heart failure is the resultant of congestion, a manifestation of fluid build-up due to increased filling pressures. As residual congestion at discharge following an acute heart failure episodes is one of the strongest predictors of poor outcome, the goal of therapy should be to resolve congestion completely. Important to comprehend is that increased cardiovascular filling pressures are not solely the resultant of intravascular volume excess but can also be induced by a decreased venous capacitance. This review article focusses on the pathophysiology, diagnoses, and treatment of congestion in acute heart failure. A clear distinction is made between states of volume overload (intravascular volume excess) or volume redistribution (decreased venous capacitance) contributing to congestion in acute heart failure.
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