My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Ask Your Question

WebMD Answers

120 Characters remaining
120 Characters remaining
  • First, try and keep your question as short as possible.
  • Include specific words that will help us identify questions that may already have your answer.
  • If you don't find your answer, you can post your question to WebMD Experts and Contributors.

Close

Posted: | Report This Report Question |
Q.

What is the long-term outlook for patients with congestive heart failure?

Related Topics: Congestive Heart Failure
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

5,093 Answers
176,438 Helpful Votes
147 Followers
A.

Congestive heart failure is generally a progressive disease with periods of stability punctuated by episodic clinical exacerbations. The course of the disease in any given individual, however, is extremely variable. Factors involved in determining the long term outlook (prognosis) for a given patient include:

  • the nature of the underlying heart disease
  • the response to medications
  • the degree to which other organ systems are involved and the severity of other accompanying conditions
  • the person's symptoms and degree of impairment
  • other factors that remain poorly understood

With the availability of newer drugs to potentially favorably affect the progression of disease, the prognosis in congestive heart failure is generally more favorable than that observed just 10 years ago. In some cases, especially when the heart muscle dysfunction has recently developed, a significant spontaneous improvement is not uncommonly observed, even to the point where heart function becomes normal.

Heart failure is often graded on a scale of I to IV based on the patient's ability to function.

  1. Class I is patients with a weakened heart but without limitation or symptoms.
  2. Class II is only limitation at heavier workloads.
  3. Class III is limitation at everyday activity.
  4. Class IV is severe symptoms at rest or with any degree of effort.

The prognosis of heart failure patients is very closely associated with the functional class.

An important issue in congestive heart failure is the risk of heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias). Of those deaths that occur in individuals with congestive heart failure, approximately 50% are related to progressive heart failure. Importantly, the other half are thought to be related to serious arrhythmias. A major advance has been the finding that nonsurgical placement of automatic implantable cardioverter/defibrillators (AICD) in individuals with severe congestive heart failure (defined by an ejection fraction below 30%-35%) can significantly improve survival, and has become the standard of care in most such individuals.

In some people with severe heart failure and certain ECG abnormalities, the left and right side of the heart don't beat in rhythm, and inserting a device called a biventricular pacer can significantly reduce symptoms.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

Posted:
| Report This Report Answer
Archived: March 20, 2014

Was this helpful?

YesNo

Thanks for your feedback.

509 of 564 found this helpful
Read the Original Article: Congestive Heart Failure

Answers from Contributors (1)

1 Answer
12 Helpful Votes
A.

I had congestive heart failure several years ago. I had kidney cancer in both kidneys 3 years a part, only portions of each kidney was removed.

I then had the congestive heart failure. what is in store for me at this point

The opinions expressed here are solely those of the User.down arrowThe opinions expressed here are solely those of the User.
User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice. Please see the
bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

Posted:
| Report This Report Answer

Was this helpful?

YesNo

Thanks for your feedback.

12 of 14 found this helpful