Heart failure is a universal health problem. With a worldwide prevalence of approximately 26 million, it has become a global pandemic causing considerable healthcare expenditure, a dismal quality of life, and morbidity.
The symptoms of heart failure can be abstruse at first, frequently misdiagnosed as typical signs of aging. However, with each progressing stage, these signs become more clear. So what is Heart failure? What are its causes and symptoms? And most importantly, what are the current diagnostics and treatment methods utilized for it?
What is Heart Failure?
Heart failure (HF) is an illness in which the heart muscle cannot pump blood properly, causing blood and fluid to accumulate in the lungs, resulting in shortness of breath. Its prime causes are certain conditions like narrowed arteries in the heart (coronary artery disease) or high blood pressure, which gradually weaken or stiffen the heart, making it unable to fill and pump blood properly.
The most common symptom of HF is vessel blockage caused by extra fluid or congestion in the lungs, which is then carried further to other parts of the body. It happens in three stages - Congestion of the lung and left side of the heart, congestion of the right heart, and low cardiac output.
The most common causes of heart failure include lowering of the left ventricular myocardial utility and the dysfunction of the endocardium, pericardium, myocardium, heart valves, or large vessels, sometimes individually and sometimes in combination. Other pathogenic mechanisms leading to heart failure include - irregular myocyte calcium cycling, excessive neurohumoral stimulation, extreme or inadequate extracellular matrix production, augmented hemodynamic overload, ischemic dysfunction, enhanced apoptosis, ventricular remodeling, and genetic mutations.
Diagnosis of Heart Failure.
In a condition like HF, the heart does not stop working but instead requires some assistance to function correctly. Even with a confirmed diagnosis, a person can still lead a healthy life with proper care and management. Various parameters are considered for its diagnosis.
Blood tests diagnosis include parameters such as analyzing complete blood count, urinalysis, blood urea nitrogen, a complete metabolic profile for serum electrolytes, serum creatinine, fasting lipid profile, glucose, liver function tests, and thyroid-stimulating hormone levels.
Other heart failure diagnostic tests include a chest X-ray, Computerised tomography (CT) scans, transthoracic echocardiography (TTE), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Echocardiogram, Myocardial biopsy, Stress test, Coronary angiogram, Ejection fraction, etc.
Current Treatments For HF.
Heart failure is a worldwide morbidity, increasing as the world’s population ages, and without treatment, patients with HF have a very poor prognosis. The primary goals of heart failure treatment are to reduce mortality, improve prognosis, and relieve symptoms and reduce morbidity by reversing or slowing cardiac and peripheral dysfunction.
Many pharma and MedTech companies work in the space to deliver the best class therapeutics and medical devices to lower down the burden of heart failure.
Pharma companies like Merck, AstraZeneca, Amgen, and Novartis, produce US FDA-approved drugs like Verquvo, Farxiga (dapagliflozin), Corlanor (ivabradine), and Entresto (sacubitril/valsartan), respectively.
MedTech companies such as Boehringer Ingelheim, Edwards Lifesciences, Eli Lilly, Merck, Bayer, Abbott, Medtronic, B. Braun Melsungen AG, Oscor, Abiomed, Teleflex Incorporated, etc. provide their products for the heart failure market. Among these, Boston Scientific Corporation, which is one of the renowned MedTech companies in the world, offers its four major products, namely, S-ICD™ System, VALITUDE™ X4 CRT-P, Maverick2 ™ PTCA Balloon Catheters, and ACCOLADE™ Pacing Systems.
For more thorough information on the current and upcoming treatments for HF, read this comprehensive article made by Delveinsight on the Heart failure market.
Heart failure is a complex disease that has long been causing morbidity and mortality in developing as well as developed countries. In the early stages of HF, standardized medical therapy has been effective. However, current medical treatment for heart failure only alleviates symptoms, delays deterioration, and modestly prolongs life. But with advancements in science, an effective cure for HF seems feasible.
Published by Kevin Core