Thursday, January 19, 2012

Symptoms of Left Heart Failure and Signs

Left Heart Failure Symptoms are:

A sense of breathlessness, initially on exertion then on rest also. The dyspnea is maximal when congestion of the lung is greatest as in exercise and lying flat.

Dyspnea on exertion
In early stage syspnea is noticeable during physical activity and is called dysnea on exertion. It results from increased venous congestion during physical activity.

Dyspnea on lying flat is called orthopnea. It results from increased amount of venous return to thorax from lower extremities when patient is in lying position. Heart is unable to pump all of this venous return that leads to lung congestion and dyspnea.

Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea
Dyspnea during sleep which awakens the patient with severe breathlessness, accompanied by a choking sensation and coughing is called paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea. It also results from increased venous congestion as the patient is lying on bed.

Signs of Left Heart Failure:

Tachycardia, cardiomegaly, third heart sound, and fine crepts at the lung bases. Chronic dilation of left atrium may also occur which may be associated with atrial fibrillation.

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