What Should You Know about High Output Heart Failure?

By on July 13, 2013

Heart failure is a global health problem, which affect at least 10 million people across the Europe and almost 5 million people in USA.

Usually heart failure is associated with the low cardiac output but sometimes signs and symptoms of the heart failure can occur in the setting of high cardiac output. This condition is known as high output heart failure.

High output heart failure happens if blood requirement of body is unusually increased, so heart failure signs may appear even the heart is working properly.

People who have this condition may have cardiac index as beyond the normal range of 2.5 to 4.0 L/min per m2.

High Output Heart FailureVarious conditions can lead to this problem, which may be associated with the heart failure in some people.

In most of the patients, high cardiac output can provokes the heart failure. So having high output heart failure should need the quick search for some other cardiovascular problems.


Many conditions can significantly increase the body’s requirement for oxygen and blood, which result in high output heart failure. Such type of conditions includes hyperthyroidism, pregnancy, and anemia. [Heart Failure Causes]

Actual causes of this condition are different from normal heart failure causes. These conditions can result in same symptoms like heart failure, such as shortness of breathing and fatigue.

High output heart failure patients are likely to have warm than the cold peripheries, because of peripheral vasodilation and vascular resistance. There are various procedures involved in the diagnosis of this condition, such as:

Chest Radiography:

Chest radiography is very important to investigate the heart failure. This test can be much useful to diagnose pulmonary, cardiomegaly congestion and also pleural fluid accumulation.


Cardiac ultrasound is necessary in people who suspected heart failure. In this type of condition, echocardiography may demonstrate the preserved left ventricular ejection fraction.

Usually high output heart failure will occur despite normal left ventricular systolic function. Subsequently patients develop the left ventricular dilatation hypertrophy, which may have consequences with worsening the heart failure condition.


Treatment should be targeted at main causes of the low systemic vascular resistance. Along with medical treatments dietary restriction of water and salt and increased use of healthy foods are advised.

Treatment options for this condition are limited; however there are some supportive therapies to treat this condition. There are many intravenous drugs are available like ephedrine, phenylephrine, metaraminol and noradrenaline.

These treatment methods can increase the systemic vascular resistance by acting on α-adrenergic receptor in order to constrict the peripheral blood vessels. Respiratory intervention with the high ventilatory peak end-expiratory pressure for the resistant pulmonary edema can also be useful to treat this condition.

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