Are there other diagnosis I should consider?

Pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure share many signs and symptoms, and it can be difficult to differentiate the two disease states. Patients with pericardial tamponade frequently present with dyspnea, jugular venous distention, and an enlarged heart on x-ray. Constrictive pericarditis may mimic many conditions, including heart failure. Some forms of valvular heart disease or congenital heart disease may be confused with heart failure.

Ebstein’s anomaly Myocarditis Supraventricular arrhythmias Left ventricular (LV) aneurysm Cardiac shunts High cardiac output states (anemia, systemic fistulae, beriberi, Paget’s disease, carcinoid, thyrotoxicosis, etc.)

What are the chest x-ray findings?

The chest x-ray is important in diagnosing left heart failure. The x-ray shows signs of interstitial edema or alveolar filling. The cardiac shadow is usually enlarged. A pleural effusion may be present.

What is pulmonary edema?

This term refers to the presence of extracellular fluid in the alveolar spaces. In heart failure, it occurs when pulmonary venous pressure rises acutely and hydrostatic forces push fluid out of capillaries faster than it can be removed by the lymphatic system. This fluid accumulates in the alveoli, and pulmonary edema is present.

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