- Congestive heart failure (CHF) means that the heart muscle is weakened. When the weakened heart muscle is not able to pump adequately, fluid can build up in the lungs.
- CHF has many causes, and CHF therapy focuses on eliminating the cause, reducing symptoms, and preventing a further progressive decrease in the heart's pumping function.
- Medications that treat CHF rid the body of excess fluid, reduce the blood vessels' resistance to ejection of blood, and combat the production of hormones that increase the heart's workload.
The goal of heart failure therapy is to lessen the effect of heart failure symptoms and to keep people with the condition out of the hospital. Heart failure caused by valve disease, toxins such as drugs used in chemotherapy, or congenital heart defects is often reversible. People with heart failure caused by permanently damaged or weakened heart muscle, however, require long-term lifestyle modification and medication.