Heart failure may occur secondary to fluid overload. In this situation the increased circulating fluid volume pushes the heart over the hump of the Starling curve, ie. increased filling pressures no longer associated with greater cardiac output. Left ventricular failure results.
It does not occur in normal hearts unless enormous volumes of fluid are involved or there is impairment of renal excretion. Heart failure from fluid overload is more likely to occur if there is pre-existing cardiac disease or in elderly patients.
Last reviewed 01/2018