What Is "Heart Failure"? BMJ Proposes a New Name For This Classic Disease

How do you define heart failure? Is it systolic dysfunction with EF of less than 40%? Or diastolicImage Hosted by ImageShack.us dysfunction? How about right-sided failure? Do you use BNP in the definition?

It looks like we put a lot of different conditions under the broad umbrella of heart failure.

"When a label confuses doctors and impairs communication with patients, it is time to change the label". BMJ proposes a new term - just call it cardiac impairment. And don't forget to check BNP, this single blood test is a better prognostic marker than even systolic ejection fraction.

The access to online BMJ was free for years but starting from last week most of the content is behind a subscription wall.

References:
Let's call it cardiac impairment - BMJ 8/05
Essentials of the Diagnosis of Heart Failure - AFP 3/00
Heart failure - The Cleveland Clinic
Image source: Wikipedia 1

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