What Causes Left Ventricular Heart Failure?


Quick Answer

Causes of left ventricular heart failure include high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart attack, congenital heart defects and faulty heart valves, Mayo Clinic explains. Other causes include damage to the heart muscle, abnormal heart rhythms, inflammation of the heart muscle and other chronic conditions.

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Full Answer

Left ventricular heart failure is failure in the chamber of the heart responsible for pumping blood out to supply the body, states Mayo Clinic. This means that each time the heart pumps, insufficient red blood cells are sent out to the cells that need them. Heart failure usually begins in the left ventricle, since it is the main pumping chamber. Heart failure can be congestive, in which blood flow is poor enough that blood backs up into other organs, such as the lungs, liver, abdomen and lower extremities.

Heart failure is dangerous, and it can lead to life-threatening complications, Mayo Clinic says. These include heart valve problems, damage to the kidneys, heart rhythm problems and damage to the liver. Treatments include medications such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, diuretics and digitalis. Severe cases can require surgery, such as heart valve repair, coronary bypass, implanting cardioverter-defibrillators or implanting heart pumps. In the most severe cases, a full heart transplant may be required.

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