Cardiac asthma is a secondary disease with a fairly severe course. The basis of its development is the suppression of the functional activity of the left heart, which entails a violation of the movement of blood through the vessels of the pulmonary circulation. Clinically, this pathological process is manifested by sudden and extremely severe shortness of breath, which significantly complicates breathing. If urgent medical care is not provided to the sick person, the probability of death is very high.
As we have said, cardiac asthma is not an independent pathology. It is only a complication of any major disease. According to statistics, from one to five percent of the total population of the planet faced such pathological conditions. No gender dependency can be traced. The average age of patients diagnosed with this disorder is from fifty-five to sixty years.
Causes of heart failure
The mechanism of development of cardiac asthma is represented by the fact that the left ventricle begins to contract much less actively. As a result of the fact that the heart reduces its contractile activity, blood in the pulmonary vessels begins to stagnate. Such a violation leads to a significant increase in pressure in the vascular structures. In addition, the vascular wall becomes much more permeable. The liquid component of blood enters the lung tissue and soaks it. As a result, pulmonary edema increases and gas exchange is inhibited. It is worth noting that it is pulmonary edema that is the main cause of death in this condition.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, cardiac asthma develops against the background of primary lesion. hearts. However, sometimes it can be preceded by non-cardiogenic pathological processes. Quite often, such a violation acts as a complication of various forms of coronary heart disease, for example, myocardial infarction. In the event that inflammatory processes have arisen in the myocardium or its parts have been replaced by scar tissue, the probability of the formation of this pathology is also very high. Other possible causes include various heart rhythm disorders and a systematic increase in blood pressure.
Diseases accompanied by malfunctioning of the mitral or aortic valve are in a separate group. They lead to the fact that problems arise when blood leaves the heart chambers. Often the heart, namely its left divisions, begins to function worse on the background of intracavitary tumors or large blood clots located inside the atria.
Among non-cardiogenic diseases, infectious inflammatory processes in the lungs and kidneys play a leading role in the occurrence of cardiac asthma. Sometimes ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke can lead to blood stasis in the pulmonary circulation.
Other predisposing factors include too much physical exertion, excessive emotional overstrain, ingestion of large amounts of water, or impaired excretion.
In the development of cardiac asthma, there are several periods that follow one after another. The first period is called the precursor period. It lasts for two or three days. The heart is already working incorrectly, and stagnation begins in the small circle. However, the clinical signs are still slightly pronounced. The second period is an immediate attack of heart asthma. The third period comes with the failure to provide medical care. It is characterized by pulmonary edema.
Symptoms characteristic of cardiac asthma
The leading symptoms of the first period are recurring bouts of shortness of breath and discomfort in the chest. As a rule, their appearance is associated with any physical activity, even if it is small. At rest, the sick person does not present any complaints and feels fine.
An attack of cardiac asthma is increasing suddenly. There is a rapidly progressing dyspnea, which in a very short period of time turns into asphyxiation. A distinctive feature of dyspnea arising is its inspiratory character. There is a mandatory coughing, which is not initially accompanied by sputum discharge. However, after some time, coughing episodes become unproductive. For ease of breathing, a sick person assumes a forced sitting position. Additionally, symptoms such as emotional arousal, cyanosis of the nasolabial triangle, as well as an acceleration of heart contractions are noted.
The duration of this attack may be different for each individual patient. Sometimes it passes in a few minutes, and sometimes shortness of breath is present for several hours.
In the event that there is pulmonary edema, the following symptoms are added: coughing up a large amount of sputum that has a frothy nature, further aggravation of shortness of breath, and the appearance of multiple moist rales.
Diagnosis and treatment of the disease
First of all, it is possible to suspect this disease on the basis of the accompanying clinical picture and data obtained during an objective examination. Additional methods of examination include chest radiography, electrocardiography, echocardiography, and ultrasound duplex scanning.
The patient must be urgently hospitalized. Of the drugs for the treatment of cardiac asthma are used nitrates, analgesics, belonging to the drug group, and funds aimed at lowering blood pressure. For relief of pulmonary edema, oxygen inhalations with alcohol are prescribed. In case the heart rhythm is disturbed, electropulse therapy is applied.
Preventing Cardiac Asthma
For prophylaxis Such a pathological condition must be promptly treated for existing heart disease. In addition, an important point is the correctly chosen therapy for pneumonia and infectious pathologies of the kidneys.