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Diagnosis and investigation 

Diagnosis and investigation
Chapter:
Diagnosis and investigation
Author(s):

Roy S. Gardner

, Theresa A. McDonagh

, and Niki L. Walker

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199674152.003.0002
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date: 22 February 2020

Heart failure is a clinical syndrome: a constellation of symptoms and signs that are ultimately due to cardiac dysfunction. It is not a diagnosis, and a cause for the underlying cardiac dysfunction must always be sought and treated, if possible. There are two aspects to the diagnosis and investigation of HF: confirmation of the presence and type of cardiac dysfunction, and ascertainment of the cause of that cardiac dysfunction. Furthermore, a thorough investigation to search for the co-morbidities that often accompany heart failure should be pursued. These are possible precipitants of decompensation, which may affect its subsequent management.

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