Heart failure

A man with congestive heart failure and marked jugular venous distension. External jugular vein marked by an arrow.
Signs and symptoms of severe heart failure
Severe peripheral pitting edema
Kerley B lines in acute cardiac decompensation. The short, horizontal lines can be found everywhere in the right lung.
Model of a normal heart (left); and a weakened heart, with over-stretched muscle and dilation of left ventricle (right); both during diastole
Chest radiograph of a lung with distinct Kerley B lines, as well as an enlarged heart (as shown by an increased cardiothoracic ratio, cephalization of pulmonary veins, and minor pleural effusion as seen for example in the right horizontal fissure. Yet, no obvious lung edema is seen. Overall, this indicates intermediate severity (stage II) heart failure.
Siderophages (one indicated by white arrow) and pulmonary congestion, indicating left congestive heart failure
Ultrasound showing severe systolic heart failure
Congestive heart failure with small bilateral effusions
Kerley B lines

Set of manifestations caused by the failure of the heart's function as a pump supporting the blood flow through the body; its signs and symptoms result from a structural and/or functional abnormality of the heart, that disrupts its filling with blood or its ejecting of it during each heart beat.

- Heart failure

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Chest pain or pressure, a symptom of coronary heart disease, usually due to insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle .

Illustration depicting angina
Diagram of discomfort caused by coronary artery disease. Pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest. Can also feel discomfort in the neck, jaw, shoulders, back or arms.

Other causes include anemia, abnormal heart rhythms, and heart failure.


Long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated.

Automated arm blood pressure meter showing arterial hypertension (shown by a systolic blood pressure 158 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure 99 mmHg and heart rate of 80 beats per minute)
Determinants of mean arterial pressure
Illustration depicting the effects of high blood pressure
Rates of hypertension in adult men in 2014.
Diagram illustrating the main complications of persistent high blood pressure
Image of veins from Harvey's Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus
Graph showing, prevalence of awareness, treatment and control of hypertension compared between the four studies of NHANES

Long-term high blood pressure, however, is a major risk factor for stroke, coronary artery disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, peripheral arterial disease, vision loss, chronic kidney disease, and dementia.


Group of diseases that affect the heart muscle.

Opened left ventricle showing thickening, dilatation, and subendocardial fibrosis noticeable as increased whiteness of the inside of the heart.
The arrhythmia, ventricular fibrillation, seen on an ECG
Normal sinus rhythm/EKG
Structural categories of cardiomyopathy
Stained microscopic section of heart muscle in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

As the disease worsens, shortness of breath, feeling tired, and swelling of the legs may occur, due to the onset of heart failure.

Myocardial infarction

A myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow decreases or stops to the coronary artery of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle.

A myocardial infarction occurs when an atherosclerotic plaque slowly builds up in the inner lining of a coronary artery and then suddenly ruptures, causing catastrophic thrombus formation, totally occluding the artery and preventing blood flow downstream.
Cross section showing anterior left ventricle wall infarction
Diagram showing the blood supply to the heart by the two major blood vessels, the left and right coronary arteries (labelled LCA and RCA). A myocardial infarction (2) has occurred with blockage of a branch of the left coronary artery (1).
A 12-lead ECG showing an inferior STEMI due to reduced perfusion through the right coronary artery. Elevation of the ST segment can be seen in leads II, III and aVF.
ECG : AMI with ST elevation in V2-4
Inserting a stent to widen the artery.

An MI may cause heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, cardiogenic shock or cardiac arrest.

Atrial fibrillation

Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) characterized by rapid and irregular beating of the atrial chambers of the heart.

Leads aVL and aVF of an electrocardiogram showing atrial fibrillation. There are irregular intervals between heart beats. No P waves are seen and there is an erratic baseline between QRS complexes. The heart rate is about 125 beats per minute.
Normal rhythm tracing (top) Atrial fibrillation (bottom)
How a stroke can occur during atrial fibrillation
Non-modifiable risk factors (top left box) and modifiable risk factors (bottom left box) for atrial fibrillation. The main outcomes of atrial fibrillation are in the right box. BMI=Body Mass Index.
A 12-lead ECG showing atrial fibrillation at approximately 132 beats per minute
Diagram of normal sinus rhythm as seen on ECG. In atrial fibrillation the P waves, which represent depolarization of the top of the heart, are absent.
ECG of atrial fibrillation (top) and normal sinus rhythm (bottom). The purple arrow indicates a P wave, which is lost in atrial fibrillation.
3D Medical Animation still shot of Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion

Atrial fibrillation is associated with an increased risk of heart failure, dementia, and stroke.

Coronary artery disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD), also called coronary heart disease (CHD), ischemic heart disease (IHD), myocardial ischemia, or simply heart disease, involves the reduction of blood flow to the heart muscle due to build-up of atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries of the heart.

Illustration depicting atherosclerosis in a coronary artery
Clogged artery
Micrograph of a coronary artery with the most common form of coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis) and marked luminal narrowing. Masson's trichrome.
Illustration depicting coronary artery disease
Coronary angiogram of a man
Coronary angiogram of a woman
Deaths due to ischaemic heart disease per million persons in 2012

Other complications include heart failure or an abnormal heartbeat.

Cardiac arrest

Sudden loss of blood flow throughout the body resulting from the heart not being able to pump blood efficiently.

CPR being administered during a simulation of cardiac arrest
Conduction of the heart. Changes in this pattern can result from injury to the cardiac muscle and lead to non-conducted beats and ultimately cardiac arrest.
Ventricular fibrillation
Normal vs blocked coronary artery
Short axis view of the heart demonstrating wall thickening in left ventricular hypertrophy
EKG depiction of left ventricular hypertrophy
Medical personnel checking the carotid pulse of a patient
CPR training on a mannequin
An automated external defibrillator stored in a visible orange mural support
Lipid emulsion as used in cardiac arrest due to local anesthetic agents
Illustration of implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)

While cardiac arrest may be caused by heart attack or heart failure, these are not the same, and in 15 to 25% of cases there is a non-cardiac cause.

Valvular heart disease

Any cardiovascular disease process involving one or more of the four valves of the heart .

Phonocardiogram of normal and abnormal heartbeats.
This diagram shows the valves of the heart. The aortic and mitral valves are shown in the left heart, and the tricuspid and pulmonic valves are shown in the right heart.
ECG showing left ventricular hypertrophy, these findings may be present in aortic stenosis.

Mitral insufficiency can be caused by dilation of the left heart, often a consequence of heart failure.

Peripheral edema

Edema in tissues perfused by the peripheral vascular system, usually in the lower limbs.

Leg edema

The condition is commonly associated with vascular and cardiac changes associated with aging but can be caused by many other conditions, including congestive heart failure, kidney failure, liver cirrhosis, portal hypertension, trauma, alcoholism, altitude sickness, pregnancy, hypertension, sickle cell anemia, a compromised lymphatic system or merely long periods of time sitting or standing without moving.

ACE inhibitor

Captopril, the first synthetic ACE inhibitor
Renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system

Angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) are a class of medication used primarily for the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure.