congestive heart failure

n.
heart failure characterized by weakness, breathlessness, and abnormal congestion in the circulatory system, esp. in the lungs or lower legs

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Heart failure resulting in the accumulation of fluid in the lungs and other body tissues.

It is related mainly to salt and water retention in the tissues rather than directly to reduced blood flow. Blood pools in the veins (vascular congestion) because the heart does not pump efficiently enough to allow it to return. It may vary from the most minimal symptoms to sudden pulmonary edema or a rapidly lethal shocklike state (see shock). Chronic states of varying severity may last years. Symptoms tend to worsen as the body's attempts to compensate for the condition create a vicious circle. The patient has trouble breathing, at first during exertion and later even at rest. Treatment is directed toward increasing the strength of the heart's muscle contraction, reduction of fluid accumulation, and elimination of the underlying cause of the failure.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • congestive heart failure — n heart failure in which the heart is unable to maintain adequate circulation of blood in the tissues of the body or to pump out the venous blood returned to it by the venous circulation compare CORONARY FAILURE * * * (CHF) a clinical syndrome… …   Medical dictionary

  • congestive heart failure — n. heart failure characterized by weakness, breathlessness, and abnormal congestion in the circulatory system, esp. in the lungs or lower legs …   English World dictionary

  • congestive heart failure — congestive cardiac failure …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • congestive heart failure — noun inability to pump enough blood to avoid congestion in the tissues • Hypernyms: ↑heart failure, ↑coronary failure …   Useful english dictionary

  • congestive heart failure — noun Date: 1930 heart failure in which the heart is unable to maintain an adequate circulation of blood in the bodily tissues or to pump out the venous blood returned to it by the veins …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • congestive heart failure — conges′tive heart′ fail ure n. pat heart failure 2) • Etymology: 1930–35 …   From formal English to slang

  • congestive heart failure. — See heart failure (def. 2). [1930 35] * * * …   Universalium

  • congestive heart failure. — See heart failure (def. 2). [1930 35] …   Useful english dictionary

  • congestive heart failure — noun A syndrome marked by weakness, edema and shortness of breath, due to the inability of the heart to circulate the blood adequately to the lungs and other tissues …   Wiktionary

  • congestive heart failure — condition in which the heart does not pump properly and causes an accumulation of fluid in the lungs, CHF (Medicine) …   English contemporary dictionary

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