differential diagnosis

Last reviewed 01/2018

The differential diagnosis of classical heart failure includes:

  • volume stresses on a normal heart:
    • also called high output heart failure
  • pressure stresses on a normal heart:
    • malignant hypertension
  • the further differential is that of dyspnoea

Conditions which may mimic symptoms of heart failure include:

  • obesity
  • chest disease (lung, diaphragm, or chest wall)
  • venous insufficiency in lower limbs
  • drugs e.g. - dihydropyridine calcium-channel blockers, NSAID’s
  • hypoalbuminaemia
  • depression and/or anxiety disease
  • severe anaemia or thyroid disease
  • bilateral renal artery stenosis (1)