As clinicians, we need to remind ourselves that congestive heart failure (CHF) is not a diagnosis but rather a complex of symptoms with one or more of five major causes: myocardial ischemia, valvular heart disease, chronic hypertension, arrhythmias, or cardiomyopathy. Thus, if a patient has symptoms of CHF, the diagnosis would be CHF secondary to one of those five causes.
—Jeffrey Mancini, DO, Cincinnati
Arrhythmias per se do not lead to CHF (nor does chronic hypertension without some evidence of cardiomyopathic changes), but various forms of congenital heart disease can cause CHF.
—Peter F. Cohn, MD (111-22)