Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

pp 781-782

Heart Failure

  • Gohar AzharAffiliated withUniversity of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, GRECC and CAVHS
  • , Jeanne Y. WeiAffiliated withUniversity of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, GRECC and CAVHS


Cardiac insufficiency; Congestive cardiac failure; CCF; Systolic heart failure; SHF; Diastolic heart failure; DHF; Systolic ventricular dysfunction; Diastolic ventricular dysfunction

Definition and Characteristics

Heart failure is a clinical syndrome characterized by the inability of the heart to pump blood commensurate with the requirements of the body [1,2]. Two functional subsets of heart failure that are commonly encountered are diastolic heart failure (DHF) and systolic heart Failure (SHF). SHF is associated with reduced cardiac contractile function and an ejection fraction of 40% or less. DHF can occur in the presence or absence of systolic dysfunction, and is characterized by impaired cardiac relaxation [35]. Moderately severe left heart failure can result in secondary right heart failure or biventricular failure. Right heart failure can occur generally in conditions of severe tricuspid regurgitation, severe pulmonary disease or pulm ...

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