High-output cardiac failure

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.

Clinical presentation

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:

  1. large extracardiac left-to-right shunt
  2. overstimulation of the body metabolism
  3. severe reduction of the blood's capacity to carry oxygen and nutrients; i.e. severe anemia

There are several conditions that can predispose to this situation:

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Article information

rID: 32929
System: Cardiac
Section: Gamuts
Tag: cases, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • High output cardiac failure
  • High output heart failure

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: vein of Galen malformation
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  • Case 2: fetal cardiac failure
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