Heart failure (HF), also known as congestive heart failure (CHF) or congestive cardiac failure (CCF), is the inability of the heart to provide sufficient pump action to distribute blood flow to meet the needs of the body. Heart failure can cause a number of symptoms including shortness of breath, leg swelling, and exercise intolerance. The condition is diagnosed with echocardiography and blood tests. Treatment commonly consists of lifestyle measures (such as smoking cessation, light exercise including breathing protocols, decreased salt intake and other dietary changes) and medications. Sometimes it is treated with implanted devices (pacemakers or ventricular assist devices) and occasionally a heart transplant. Common causes of heart failure include myocardial infarction and other forms of ischemic heart disease, hypertension, valvular heart disease, and cardiomyopathy.
Contributions by BOTijo, Timwi, and Moe Epsilon.