2. The Pathophysiological Impact of Heart Failure on Other Body Systems
The anticipated changes in other body systems as a result of heart failure compound a patient’s ability to recover from a HF exacerbation due to the changes in aerobic capacity, and impaired renal function. An individual with HF presents with chronic changes in multiple systems, namely the renein-angiotensin-aldosterone system as well as the musculoskeletal system, due to prolonged reduced perfusion related to HF that also compound a patient’s ability to recover from an acute bout of HF. In the musculoskeletal system, the shift to type II muscle fibers changes their exercise tolerance/aerobic capacity at baseline and limits their capacity to do work. When the patient is in a HF exacerbation the increased volume creates more work for their system. Their intolerance of fluid volume changes due to their impaired cardiac function during an exacerbation is also due to their limited renal function as a result of the likelihood that their prolonged cardiac dysfunction led to prolonged hypoperfusion of the renal vasculature which collectively impact their management of intravascular volume as well as their exercise tolerance.