High output cardiac failure refers to a state of cardiac failure that is associated with a higher than normal cardiac output which is still not sufficient for body tissue demands.
Patients can present with a number of symptoms of varying degrees which include tachycardia, elevated pulse pressure, hyperkinetic precordium, and jugular venous distension.
There are three major mechanisms of high output heart failure:
- large extracardiac left-to-right shunt
- overstimulation of the body metabolism
- severe reduction of the blood's capacity to carry oxygen and nutrients; i.e. severe anaemia
There are several conditions that can predispose to this situation:
- arteriovenous malformations
- arteriovenous shunting without a distinct malformation 2
- other conditions that can lead to high output states
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