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Heart failure in children: Management

Rakesh K Singh, MD, MS
TP Singh, MD, MSc
Section Editor
John K Triedman, MD
Deputy Editor
Carrie Armsby, MD, MPH


Heart failure (HF) results from structural or functional cardiac disorders that impair the ability of the ventricle(s) to fill with and/or eject blood. The presentation of pediatric HF is diverse because of the numerous underlying cardiac etiologies (table 1) and varying clinical settings.

The management of HF in children will be presented here. The etiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnostic evaluation of HF in children are discussed separately. (See "Heart failure in children: Etiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis".)


General measures that can be applied to all pediatric patients with HF include correcting reversible conditions that may be causing or contributing the HF symptoms, ensuring adequate nutrition, and promoting healthy and safe exercise.

Reversible contributors — Patients with HF may have comorbidities that can exacerbate or contribute to cardiac dysfunction. A thorough evaluation should be performed in all patients to identify such contributors and appropriate therapy should be provided if warranted. Examples include:

Anemia (see "Approach to the child with anemia").

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Dec 12, 2017.
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