Help for Failing Hearts
New names for the disease have been considered -- dysfunction, left ventricular dysfunction, cardiomyopathy, heart insufficiency -- but heart failure remains the moniker.
The bottom line is that "we have been scratching our heads and many people have given it considerable thought, but we have not come up with a name that's any better than congestive heart failure," Packer tells WebMD. "My own personal sense is that this situation is best served by keeping its name and educating people about the implications of the name."
Regardless of the name, "The first step," says Iliadis, "is to make the diagnosis and find out what is causing the heart failure. ... We have improved significantly the long-term outcome, and as newer techniques arrive, we will continue to chisel away at poor long-term outcome."