Heart failure (HF) is a clinical syndrome that reflects the inability of the myocardium to satisfy the circulatory and metabolic demands of the organism. It could be caused by multiples etiologies, congenital cardiac defects, cardiac infections (myocarditis), unknown familial cardiomyopathies (disorders of the heart muscle), diseases of the metabolism causing damage to the heart, or disturbances of the heart rhythm resulting in progressive impairment of the heart function.
Respiratory distress is classically the first sign of HF in the young child, and tiredness in the feeding and no gaining weight appear during the follow-up. Signs of “breathlessness” and shortness of breath sometimes are confused as episodes of bronchitis and are secondary to the dilation of the heart (cardiomegaly) due to not pumping blood properly. Diagnostic studies are carried out to establish the cause of HF and medications are started to improve symptoms. Currently, different treatments exist depending on the diagnosis, but if the weakness of heart muscle is severe with clinical repercussion, heart transplantation is the only long-term solution.