Fast Five Quiz: Test Your Knowledge on Key Aspects of Heart Failure

Yasmine S. Ali, MD, MSCI


February 07, 2020

Patients with heart failure can benefit from attention to exercise, diet, and nutrition. Restriction of activity promotes physical deconditioning, so physical activity should be encouraged. However, limitation of activity is appropriate during acute heart failure exacerbations and in patients with suspected myocarditis. Most patients should not participate in heavy labor or exhaustive sports. Dietary sodium restriction to 2-3 g/day is recommended.

Nitrates are potent venodilators. These agents decrease preload and therefore decrease LV filling pressure and relieve dyspnea. They also selectively produce epicardial coronary artery vasodilatation and help with myocardial ischemia. Although nitrates can be used in different forms (sublingual, oral, transdermal, intravenous), the most common route of administration in acute heart failure is intravenous. However, their use is limited by tachyphylaxis and headache.

A combination of three types of drugs (a diuretic, an ACEI or an ARB, and a beta-blocker) is recommended in the routine management of most patients with heart failure. ACEIs/ARBs and beta-blockers are generally used together. Beta-blockers are started in the hospital once euvolemic status has been achieved.

Because of the possibility of ventricular recovery and lengthened patient survival, most patients with heart failure and aortic stenosis are offered valve replacement.

For more on the treatment of heart failure, read here.


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