Symposium on Blood Volume in Clinical Medicine| Volume 334, ISSUE 1, P47-52, July 2007

Blood Volume Assessment in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Heart Failure

  • Stuart D. Katz
    Yale University School of Medicine, 135 College Street, Suite 301, New Haven, CT 06510
    Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
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      Symptoms of intravascular volume overload and increased cardiac filling pressures in the systemic and pulmonary venous circulations are among the most common complaints in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). The clinical utility of physical examination for estimation of intravascular volume status in patients with CHF is limited due to poor specificity and sensitivity of most signs of congestion. Direct measurement of blood volume with radioisotope techniques is FDA-approved and has been shown to be closely associated with invasive measurements of cardiac filling pressures in patients with CHF. Unrecognized volume overload is common in CHF patients and is associated with adverse clinical outcomes. Additional work is needed to determine the clinical utility of serial blood volume measurements in the management of patients with CHF.


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