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Heart Failure Archive Questions

Below are Dr. Gottlieb’s answers to Heart Failure questions
received through the Ask the Expert feature.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended
to be a substitute for individual medical advice in diagnosing or treating a
health problem. Please consult with your physician about your specific health
care concerns.



Now displaying records 1 to 15 of 52.

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Q : 1

09/05/2013
My husband has diastolic heart failure. He also has kidney disease and diabetes. What can be done for the diastolic heart failure?

He should be seen by an expert in heart failure, as the causes of diastolic dysfunction are varied. Control of blood pressure and fluid will be important.


Q : 2

05/11/2013
I have COPD. I was recently tentatively diagnosed with congestive heart failure. The pulmonologist declined to address a relationship between medication for the supposed "heart failure" diagnosis and COPD. My primary care doctor says the blood pressure medicine with the "lasix" are supposed to balance one another. I have always had normal blood pressure, so I don't understand this need.

There are many medicines for heart failure which do not affect the lungs. While many may be used for blood pressure, that is not the reason they are given to patients with heart failure. In some people with asthma, there may be an interaction with heart failure medications, and the cardiologist and pulmonologist need to communicate.


Q : 3

06/05/2012
What is clinically different between left side and right side heart failure?

Right sides failure means that the pressures are high in the right heart chambers, usually leading to fluid overload. This can be caused by left heart failure (usually called heart failure), pulmonary hypertension, or valvular disease.


Q : 4

04/18/2012
My 85-year-old father recently underwent a thorocentesis which removed 1.6 liters of fluid. The diuretics are not as effective as they have been and his physician has suggested aquapheresis. I read some of the studies which do show some promise, but at this point I am not sure about the outcomes. What is your opinion?

Ultrafiltration can successfully remove fluid. I don't think it's safer than diuretics, but I also don't think it's worse. If needed to remove fluid, it can be tried. The risk of worsening renal function is still there.


Q : 5

03/02/2012
What is the difference between congestive heart failure and acute heart failure?

Acute refers to a very recent onset occurrence. Otherwise, both refer to the same symptoms.


Q : 6

01/30/2012
What organelle does hypertrophic cardiomyopathy affect?

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathies can be caused by multiple abnormalities that affect the myocardial cells.


Q : 7

10/03/2011
If I have a dilated right atrium and the rest of the chambers are normal, would this be considered an enlarged heart?

The important question is what is causing the dilation of the right atrium. The underlying problem needs to be well treated by a cardiologist.


Q : 8

09/26/2011
What are the criteria for diagnosis of ischemic cardiomyopathy?

By definition, people with coronary artery disease are often said to have ischemic cardiomyopathy. However, that does not mean that the coronary artery disease caused the cardiomyopathy.


Q : 9

08/30/2011
Should you still be a heart donor after surgery (triple bypass and cow valve)?

A heart that needed this surgery would not be considered as a donor heart.


Q : 10

05/27/2011
Is "heart failure" the same as "congestive heart failure"

Yes, the terms are generally used interchangeably.


Q : 11

04/11/2011
I am a 31-year-old female with a LVAD and I am waiting on a heart transplant. I have an the infection called acinetobacter due to a sponge being left in me for 4 months. I wanted to know with this type of infection, can I still get a heart transplant?

Very often, infections can be dealt with by removing infected foreign bodies. While I cannot say anything about your particular case, an infection does not necessarily rule out a transplant. You should speak with your doctors about this concern.


Q : 12

03/23/2011
Does congestive heart failure involve a lot of coughing that doesn't stop even when treated with antibiotics and Prednisone?

A cough can result from heart failure.


Q : 13

02/27/2011
I am a 72-year-old woman with diastolic heart failure (diagnosed 3 years ago) and take a beta blocker and ACE inhibitor. I have stress urinary incontinence and am wondering how safe an operation to correct it is, in view of the heart failure.

This depends on the severity of the diastolic dysfunction. If well controlled, doctors should be able to operate safely.


Q : 14

01/31/2011
Can bulimia cause congestive heart failure?

Malnutrition can lead to heart failure.


Q : 15

11/09/2010
What is the difference between a heart attack and heart failure?

Usually a "heart attack" means myocardial infarction (MI), which is a closing of an artery to the heart causing part of the heart muscle to die. Heart failure means a weak heart muscle that does no pump well. A MI may lead to heart failure, but does not always.


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