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CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE Congestive heart failure or heart failure is a condition in which the heart cant pump enough blood to meet the needs of the bodys other organs This can result from narrowed arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle - coronary artery disease past heart attack or myocardial infarction with scar tissue that interferes with the heart muscles normal work high blood pressure heart valve disease due to past rheumatic fever or other causes primary disease of the heart muscle itself called cardiomyopathy defects in the heart present at birth - congenital heart disease infection of the heart valves andor heart muscle itself - endocarditis andor myocarditis The failing heart keeps working but doesnt work as efficiently as it should People with heart failure cant exert themselves because they become short of breath and tired As blood flow out of the heart slows blood returning to the heart through the veins backs up causing congestion in the tissues Often swelling edema results most commonly in the legs and ankles but possibly in other parts of the body as well Sometimes fluid collects in the lungs and interferes with breathing causing shortness of breath especially when a person is lying down Heart failure also affects the ability of the kidneys to dispose of sodium and water The retained water increases the edema ENLARGED HEART Enlarged heart is an increase in the size of the heart that is detected by physical examination x-ray or other imaging tests It may occur as a result of thickening in the heart muscles in response to increased workload such as in valve disease or hypertension Enlarged heart may also be a dilation expansion of the heart in response to muscle damage that causes weakened muscle action Examples include myocardial infarction congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathies Shortness of
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