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Systolic Heart Failure

Systolic Heart Failure

A systolic heart failure can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated on time. Let's take a look at what triggers this heart condition, along with its symptoms and treatment, through this article...
Marlene Alphonse
Last Updated: Jan 21, 2018
One of the most vital organs in the body is the heart. This organ, which is the center of the circulatory system, performs the functions of transporting blood and nutrients to all parts of the body. The heart contracts and relaxes in a regular pattern, which is called a heartbeat. The heart beats with a rhythmic sound lub-dub, which can be heard through a stethoscope and can be felt if you keep your hand on the chest. The heart has two atria and two ventricles, which play a key role in blood circulation. 'Systole' occurs when the heart contracts and 'diastole' is the relaxation phase of the heart.
The ventricles of the heart perform the function of transporting blood from the heart to the rest of the body through the blood vessels. When there is an interference, like plaque or obstruction in the blood vessel, due to which the ventricle fails to pump blood, it can lead to heart failure. This condition is sometimes referred to as left ventricular failure as well. While comparing systolic vs diastolic heart failure, the symptoms of both the heart disorders are similar and are caused due to congestion of the heart valves.
Causes of a Systolic Heart Failure
As mentioned earlier, a failure in the function of the left ventricles can result when there is a defect or abnormality in the systolic function during the expulsion of blood to the rest of the body. Congestive heart failure is a result of the weakening of the cardiac muscles due to which the heart is unable to suffice the requirements of the body. Given below are some of the causative factors of left ventricular failure.
  • Unhealthy lifestyle is one of the reasons why some individuals may suffer from heart attacks. Smoking and drinking may lead to the accumulation of toxins in the blood stream, which can affect the heart and result in the organ failure. Heart attacks may also be caused due to aging.
  • Chronic heart failure is mainly caused due to the presence of congenital heart defects like a faulty valve.
  • The inflammation of the heart muscles, myocarditis, due to an infection, damage to the heart muscles or cardiomyopathy, etc., can be a causative factor for acute heart failure.
  • Abnormality in the heart rate, which can cause heart arrhythmias is also one of the causes of this heart failure.
  • Some other attributes of this harmful disorder are hypertension, diabetes, blood clots, side effects and allergic reactions of certain medications, etc.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms exhibited by this condition are similar to the right-sided heart failure symptoms.
  • Dyspnea, or shortness of breath, which may worsen when you lie down or due to heavy work.
  • Sharp chest pain, which may radiate to the arm. Sometimes a heaviness in the chest region is also felt.
  • Palpitations of the heart.
  • Generalized body weakness.
  • Persistent cough and wheezing, which does not go away.
Treatment Options
It is essential to recognize these cardiac failure signs in the initial stages and visit a physician to prevent it from worsening and becoming life-threatening. A failure to read through the symptoms can lead to acute congestive heart failure, which may prove to be fatal. The patient may have to undergo diagnostic tests like chest X-ray, ECG, echocardiogram, etc. Medications like anticoagulants, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, etc., are prescribed. In case of severity of the condition, the patient may have to undergo surgery for a replacement of the heart valve or have a pace maker fitted. Some individuals may also require a heart transplant.
Systolic heart failure can be life-threatening, resulting in a heart attack, if not diagnosed and treated on time. To avoid heart diseases, it is essential to practice a healthy lifestyle and quit vices like drinking and smoking. A routine visit to your health care provider for a regular full body examination and tests will also keep any disorder in check and prevent it from worsening. Take care!