MIRIAM MASLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIRIAM MASLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart failure, or cardiomyopathy, coloured chest X-ray. The heart (pale orange, lower right) is greatly enlarged (ventricular hypertrophy). The left ventricle is the part of the heart muscle responsible for pumping blood around the body, and it increases in size as it works harder to do so. Heart failure is the inability of the heart to pump blood around the body. This may be due to hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary artery disease, an infection or arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). The condition causes shortness of breath and fatigue. Treatment is of the underlying cause, and may require drugs or surgery.
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