2 Indications and current treatments
2.1 Heart failure is a complex clinical syndrome of symptoms and signs that occurs when the efficiency of the heart as a pump is impaired. It can lead to reduced blood flow to the body tissues and increased filling pressure in the heart, which causes congestion and oedema in the lungs (causing breathlessness) and/or the body (causing swelling of the legs). Other symptoms include reduced exercise tolerance, fatigue and malaise.
2.2 Treatment for acute heart failure (specifically, sudden significant deterioration in people with known cardiac dysfunction or new onset of symptoms in people without previous cardiac dysfunction) involves pharmacological therapies, including diuretics and inotropic agents. Invasive therapies include electrophysiological interventions such as pacemakers or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, revascularisation procedures such as percutaneous coronary intervention, valve replacement or repair, and temporary use of intra-aortic balloon pumps or ventricular assist devices.