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Medical Term:

heart failure


  1. inadequacy of the heart so that as a pump it fails to maintain the circulation of blood, with the result that congestion and edema develop in the tissues;
  2. resulting clinical syndromes include shortness of breath, pitting or nonpitting edema, enlarged tender liver, engorged neck veins, and pulmonary rales in various combinations.

Synonym(s): cardiac failure, cardiac insufficiency, congestive heart failure, myocardial insufficiency

See Also: forward heart failure, backward heart failure, right ventricular failure, left ventricular failure

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.