Congestive heart failure

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The causes of heart failure in children are often very different than in adults. Discover what causes heart failure in children, how it is diagnosed and possible treatments.

Key points

  • Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart does not pump as well as it should.
  • The most common symptoms in young children are difficulty feeding, sweating and poor weight gain. Older children may present with fatigue and exercise intolerance.
  • Tests to diagnose heart failure in children include an electrocardiogram, chest X-ray, echocardiogram, blood tests, genetic testing, cardiac MRI, exercise tests and cardiac catheterization.
  • Treatment will most likely include medicines to improve or stabilize heart function and may also include medicines to help with the symptoms of heart failure.
Last updated: October 26th 2018