Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic progressive condition that affects the pumping power of your heart muscles. While often referred to simply as “heart failure,” CHF specifically refers to the stage in which fluid builds up around the heart and causes it to pump inefficiently.

You have four heart chambers. The upper half of your heart has two atria, and the lower half of your heart has two ventricles. The ventricles pump blood to your organs and tissues, and the atria receive blood as it circulates back from the rest of your body.

Left-sided CHF is the most common type of CHF. It occurs when your left ventricle doesn’t properly pump blood out to your body. As the condition progresses, fluid can build up in your lungs, which makes breathing difficult.

Right-sided CHF is when the right ventricle has difficulty pumping blood to your lungs. Blood backs up in your blood vessels, which causes fluid retention in your lower extremities, abdomen, and other vital organs.

It’s possible to have left-sided and right-sided CHF at the same time. Usually, the disease starts in the left side and then travels to the right when it’s left untreated.

  • Aortic valve stenosis (AVS)
  • Atrial septal defect (ASD)
  • Coarctation of the aorta (CoA)
  • Complete atrioventricular canal defect (CAVC)
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Pulmonary valve stenosis
  • Single ventricle defects
  • Total anomalous pulmonary venous connection (TAPVC)
  • Tricuspid atresia
  • Truncus arteriosus
  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD)

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