Ultrasonographic assessment of organs other than the heart in patients with heart failure
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The number of patients with heart failure has been dramatically increasing in Japan in association with aging of the society. This phenomenon is referred to as a heart failure pandemic. The fundamental origin of heart failure is cardiac dysfunction. Echocardiography is widely used to assess cardiac function, as well as to diagnose heart diseases that cause cardiac dysfunction. However, the severity of heart failure is not necessarily correlated with that of cardiac dysfunction. This is partly explained by the fact that heart failure induces dysfunction of organs other than the heart through hemodynamic deterioration and neurohumoral changes. In addition, one of the characteristics of patients with heart failure, particularly elderly patients, is the presence of numerous comorbidities. Symptoms of heart failure are not specific, and assessment of cardiac function, particularly left ventricular diastolic function, has not been established. Thus, ultrasonographic assessment of organs other than the heart helps the diagnosis of heart failure, assessment of the severity of heart failure, and development of our understanding of the pathophysiology in each patient. This review summarizes current knowledge about the usefulness of ultrasonographic assessment of organs other than the heart in heart failure.
KeywordsLiver Kidney Intestinal tract Diaphragm Lung
The authors are grateful to Takuya Ishisugi, MS, and Mari Miyagi, MS, for their assistance.
This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant numbers 16K09435, 17K00855, 18K10671, and 19K08582, and the Japan Heart Foundation (Tokyo, Japan).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no relationships relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose.
All the procedures followed were in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 and later versions.
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