Heart failure classification is a ubiquitous term in medical education because of the present state of this difficult condition. Heart failure is a global term for the physiological state in which cardiac output is insufficient for the body’s needs.
When the structure or function of the heart loses its ability to pump fresh blood and supply sufficient blood that our body needs, it’s mainly known to us medically as “Heart Failure.”
There are many different ways to classify and types of heart failure, including; which side of the heart is involved (left heart failure versus right heart failure), the degree of functional impairment conferred by the abnormality (as in the NYHA functional classification), whether the abnormality is due to(systolic dysfunction) or relaxation of the heart(diastolic).
Heart Failure Classification In Brief
Heart failure (HF) is one of the most complex syndromes caused by the heart not functioning properly. A doctor determines the patient’s heart failure classifications based on their symptoms and functional limitations.
The severity of heart failure depends on how well the patient’s heart can pump blood to the body. There are multiple types of Heart failure classification, but the two main ones are the following:
ACC/AHA Stages of Heart Failure
American Heart Association (AHA) and the American college of cardiology (ACC) worked together to create another classification system that complements the NYHA approach. The American college of cardiology and the American heart association staging system describes four stages.
- High risk of heart failure. But without structural heart disease or symptoms of heart failure.
- Structural heart disease but without signs or symptoms of HF
- Structural heart disease with prior or current symptoms
- Refractory HF requires specialized interventions
NYHA Stages of Heart Failure
The doctor usually classifies the patient according to the severity of the symptoms. The classification system used most often is the New York heart association. The New York heart association staging system also describes five stages.
- No limitation on physical activity. ordinary physical activity does not cause the symptom of HF
- Mild symptoms and slight limitation during ordinary activity
- Significant limitation inactivity due to symptoms. comfortable only at rest
- Severe limitations. symptoms even while at rest
Different Types Of Heart Failure
As we already know, the clinical disabilities of heart function occur when the heart can not maintain a proper output of blood flow or can not maintain pumping pressure. In addition, sometimes unexpected increases in metabolic demand of the heart occur during exercise or some other form of stress.
Severe heart failure may be present at rest. In clinical practice, heart failure may be diagnosed when a patient with significant heart disease develops the signs or symptoms of low cardiac output, pulmonary congestion, systemic venous congestion at rest, or exercise.
According to the location of the heart, there are three types of heart failure that are recognized these are;
Left-sided Heart Failure
Left-sided heart failure is the most common type of heart failure. In this condition, the heart’s left ventricle cannot pump the blood properly. This is characterized by reduced left ventricular output and increased left atrial and pulmonary venous pressure. If left heart failure occurs suddenly- for example, as the result of an acute, MI-the rapid increase in left atrial pressure causes pulmonary edema.
If atrial pressure rises more gradually, as occurs with mitral stenosis, reflex pulmonary vasoconstriction protects the patient from pulmonary edema. However, the resulting increase in pulmonary vascular resistance causes pulmonary hypertension, which impairs ventricular function.
Right-sided Heart Failure
In this condition, the right ventricles of the heart cannot pump the blood efficiently. Right-sided heart failure is defined as a process, not a disease, often due to left-sided heart failure when the weakened and stiff left ventricle loses power to pump and flow blood to all the body parts efficiently.
The fluid is then forced back through our lungs, making weak heart’s right side and causing right-sided heart failure.
This flow backs up in the veins, causing fluid to swell in the legs, ankles, GI tract, and liver. In other cases, certain lung diseases like COPD or pulmonary fibrosis can cause right-sided heart failure despite the left side of the heart functioning normally.
Biventricular Heart Failure
In biventricular failure, both sides of the heart are affected. This may occur because the disease process, such as dilated cardiomyopathy or ischemic heart disease, affects both ventricles or because the left heart disease leads to chronic elevation of the left atrial pressure, pulmonary hypertension, and right heart failure.
Heart Failure According To Function
Heart failure is also classified following heart function. According to the function of the heart system, there are two types of heart failure, these are:
Systolic Heart Failure (HFREF)
This occurs when the left ventricle cannot contract normally. As a result, the heart cannot push enough force to pump enough blood throughout the body.
Diastolic Heart Failure (HFPEF)
Diastolic heart failure occurs when the left ventricle of the heart function can not relax normally due to the muscle becoming stiff. As a result, the heart cannot take in the blood properly during the resting period between beats.
Chronic Heart Failure
Chronic heart failure, also called Congestive heart failure(CHF), occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body. As a result, the blood moves slower, and the heart operates at a lower capacity. As a result, fluid builds up, and the body becomes congested.
According to different difficulties, heart failure is classified in other states. However, left-sided and Right-sided heart failure most commonly occurs in the human heart.