New strategies for the management of acute decompensated heart failure
Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
Acute heart failure in adults is the unfolding of heart failure in minutes, hours or a few days. Low output heart failure describes a form of heart failure in which the heart pumps blood at a rate at rest or with exertion that is below the physiological range and the metabolizing tissues extract their required oxygen from blood at a lower rate, causing a proportionately smaller oxygen amount remaining in the blood. Therefore, a widened arterial-venous oxygen difference occurs. High output heart failure is characterized by pumping blood with a rate above the physiological range at rest or during exertion, resulting in an arterial-venous oxygen difference, which is normal or low. This may be caused by peripheral vasodilatation during sepsis or thyrotoxicosis, blood shunting, or reduced blood oxygen content/viscosity (Fig. 1). The differentiation between low output heart failure versus high output heart failure is of highest importance for the choice of therapy and therefore the information and the monitoring of the systemic vascular resistance. Patients who present with acute heart failure suffer from a severe complication of different cardiac disorders. Most often they have an acute injury that affects their myocardial performance (eg, myocardial infarction) or valvular/chamber integrity (mitral regurgitation, ventricular septal rupture), which leads to an acute rise in left-ventricular filling pressures resulting in pulmonary edema.