Fast Five Quiz: Causes of Heart Failure

Yasmine S. Ali, MD


February 22, 2021

The causes of HF can be clinically classified into four broad categories: underlying causes, fundamental causes, precipitating causes, and genetics of cardiomyopathy. Underlying causes of HF include structural abnormalities (congenital or acquired) that affect the peripheral and coronary arterial circulation, pericardium, myocardium, or cardiac valves, which leads to heightened hemodynamic burden or myocardial or coronary insufficiency.

Fundamental causes include biochemical and physiologic mechanisms, through which myocardial contraction is impaired by either an increased hemodynamic burden or a reduction in oxygen delivery to the myocardium.

Dilated, arrhythmic right ventricular, and restrictive cardiomyopathies are considered genetic causes of HF.

Overt HF may be precipitated by progression of an underlying heart disease (eg, further narrowing of a stenotic aortic valve or mitral valve), medications (chemotherapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that alter the homeostasis of patients with HF, or other conditions, such as anemia.

Diabetes can be the cause of either systolic or diastolic HF.

Learn more about the causes of HF.


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