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Anesth Analg. 2006 Sep;103(3):557-75.

Perioperative management of chronic heart failure.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1009, USA.


Heart failure (HF) is one of the few cardiac conditions that is increasing. Despite a better understanding of how hormones and other signaling systems underlie the pathophysiology, and despite improved outcomes from pharmacologic therapy, many HF patients receive no effective treatment. Patients with HF commonly require medical diagnosis and management in operating rooms and critical care units; thus anesthesiologists are obliged to remain up-to-date both with advances in outpatient (chronic) medical management and with inpatient treatments for acute exacerbations of HF. Accordingly, we reviewed angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta-adrenergic receptor blockers, and aldosterone antagonists because these drugs prolong life and are included in current clinical practice guidelines for treating patients with chronic HF. We also reviewed the implications of chronic HF for patients undergoing surgery and anesthesia and discuss how best to provide intensive treatment for acute exacerbations of symptoms, such as might be caused by excessive intravascular volume, inappropriate drug "holidays," or worsening of the underlying cardiac disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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