Current Trends in Cardiology

All submissions of the EM system will be redirected to Online Manuscript Submission System. Authors are requested to submit articles directly to Online Manuscript Submission System of respective journal.
Reach Us +1 (202) 780-3397

Opinion Article - Current Trends in Cardiology (2023) Volume 7, Issue 10

Organ systems impacted by congestion in acute heart failure

Bruce Warden*

Department of Physiotherapy, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

*Corresponding Author:
Bruce Warden
Department of Physiotherapy
University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Received: 29-Sep-2023, Manuscript No. AACC-23-114275; Editor assigned: 03-Oct-2023, Pre QC No. AACC-23-114275(PQ); Reviewed: 18-Oct-2023, QC No. AACC-23-114275; Revised: 23-Oct-2023, Manuscript No. AACC-23-114275(R), Published: 30-Oct-2023,DOI:10.35841/aacc-7.10.210

Citation: Hu J. Organ systems impacted by congestion in acute heart failure. J Cell Biol Metab. 2023;7(10):210

Visit for more related articles at Current Trends in Cardiology


To understand the impact of congestion in AHF, we must start with the heart itself. The primary cause of AHF is the heart's inability to pump blood efficiently, leading to congestion in the pulmonary circulation. This congestion results from a variety of factors, including elevated pressure in the left atrium and ventricle, impaired myocardial contractility, or valvular dysfunction. Congestion in the pulmonary circulation is the most noticeable and potentially life-threatening consequence of AHF. As blood backs up into the lungs due to left-sided heart failure, patients often experience acute pulmonary edema [1]. The excess fluid in the lungs leads to severe shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing, making it challenging for patients to breathe. This fluid buildup can also decrease oxygen exchange in the lungs, leading to hypoxia, a condition in which the body doesn't receive enough oxygen to function properly [2].

The kidneys play a crucial role in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. In AHF, congestion can reduce kidney perfusion, impairing their ability to filter waste and excess fluid from the bloodstream. As a result, patients often experience decreased urine output, a condition known as oliguria. This reduction in urine production can lead to fluid retention, exacerbating congestion throughout the body and further compromising kidney function in a vicious cycle [3]. The liver is another organ affected by congestion in AHF. As blood flow from the heart becomes sluggish due to heart failure, the liver may become engorged with blood. This congestion can impair liver function and compromise its ability to metabolize and detoxify substances in the body. Additionally, elevated levels of certain enzymes in the bloodstream can be indicative of liver distress in AHF patients. The digestive system is not immune to the effects of congestion in AHF. Patients often experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Congestion in the splanchnic circulation can lead to malabsorption of nutrients, further weakening the patient's overall condition. These gastrointestinal symptoms can also result from the use of medications commonly prescribed to manage AHF.

The brain requires a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients to function correctly. Congestion in AHF can reduce cerebral perfusion, leading to symptoms such as confusion, disorientation, and cognitive impairment. Patients may also complain of "mental fog" or difficulty concentrating [4]. In severe cases, inadequate blood flow to the brain can lead to ischemic events, such as strokes, which can have devastating consequences. Congestion in AHF isn't limited to internal organs; it also affects peripheral tissues and extremities. Patients may develop edema, which is the accumulation of fluid in the legs, ankles, and feet. This swelling can be painful and restrict a person's mobility. It is a clear sign of fluid overload in the body and can lead to skin breakdown and infections if not managed effectively [5].


Acute heart failure is a complex medical condition that affects not only the heart but also various organ systems throughout the body. Congestion, a hallmark feature of AHF, sets off a domino effect, disrupting the delicate balance of these vital organs. Understanding how congestion impacts different organ systems is essential for healthcare providers in managing AHF effectively. Prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment strategies that alleviate congestion and improve cardiac function are crucial in improving outcomes for patients with AHF. Additionally, on-going research into innovative therapies and interventions aimed at mitigating the detrimental effects of congestion on organ systems will continue to be a priority in the field of cardiology. Ultimately, the battle against acute heart failure is a multidisciplinary effort that requires close collaboration between healthcare providers, researchers, and patients to provide the best possible care and improve the quality of life for those affected by this challenging condition.


  1. Levey AS. A new equation to estimate glomerular filtration rate. Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(9):604–12.
  2. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

  3. Herzog CA. Impact of congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and anemia on survival in the Medicare population. J Card Fail. 2004;10(6):467–72.
  4. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

  5. Lu KJ. Cardiorenal anemia syndrome as a prognosticator for death in heart failure. Am J Cardiol. 2013;111:1187–91.
  6. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

  7. Scrutinio D. The cardiorenal anaemia syndrome in systolic heart failure: prevalence, clinical correlates, and long-term survival. Eur J Heart Fail. 2011;13(1):61–67.
  8. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

  9. Go AS. Hemoglobin level, chronic kidney disease, and the risks of death and hospitalization in adults with chronic heart failure. Circulation. 2006;113(23):2713–2723.
  10. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

Get the App