ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart failure. X-rays of a patient before (left) and after (right) treatment for heart failure. The heart (white) is greatly enlarged at left, obscuring much of the lung (black) on the right of the X-ray plate. Heart failure is the inability of the heart to pump blood around the body normally. The heart's left wall, which contains the muscles responsible for this, expands as it works harder to maintain normal pumping. Heart failure may be due to high blood pressure, heart valve defects, coronary artery disease, heart muscle infection (cardiomyopathy) or a heart attack. Treatment depends on the cause. It has here led to a reduction in the heart's size and clearer lungs.
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