Asystole is a complex medical condition. There are several types of asystole and causes. For this reason doctors will conduct a series of diagnostic tests and evaluation of disease severity.
Patients with symptoms of asystole will need to perform the following tests:
– History and thorough clinical examination
– Laboratory investigations
– Electrocardiogram (EKG)
– Chest X-ray
– Cardiac ultrasound.
Echocardiography is the simplest and the best test for diagnosing asystole. It can also determine the cause of disease and guide treatment.
Dosage brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a new investigation that can be used in the diagnosis of asystole. Levels of brain natriuretic peptide are increased, usually in this condition.
These investigations are used to identify areas that do not receive enough blood heart (ischemic areas) and to assess left ventricular function:
– Cardiac perfusion scans (isotopic methods): This test may reveal a poor heart infusion
– Ventriculography with radionuclide (assessment of ventricular volumes): This test is used when results are unsatisfactory at echography.
The patient will be monitored regularly by your doctor or physician. These periods may be lower or higher depending on the severity and course of the disease.
The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and prevent further deterioration of the heart. Usually initially diuretics are used to lower blood pressure and to avoid fluid accumulation in tissues. Another drug used is betablockers that prevent further worsening of heart failure and in some cases, improve cardiac function and vital prognosis. However, some patients cannot use this drug because of side effects.
Recommendations regarding life style of patients with asystole include:
– Monitoring of fluids consumed
– Reducing salt intake
– Making an exercise program under the guidance of a physician
– Normalization of weight for obese patients
– Quitting smoking because it increases the risk of heart disease and is difficult to conduct exercise
– Avoiding alcohol abuse
– Effective control of blood pressure: physical exertion dispenser, avoiding abuse of alcohol and avoid stress to keep blood pressure normal.
Although some causes of asystole are reversible in most cases it cannot be cured, so treatment is for life. Maintenance therapy is focused on slowing disease progression, prevent complications and reduce hospitalizations, improve symptoms and prolong life.
Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors are the cornerstone of treatment. They improve symptoms and prolong life. I
Betablockers are prescribed for preventing aggravation and in some cases, improve cardiac function and vital prognosis. This drug is not indicated for all patients with heart failure.
To relieve symptoms lifestyle changes are necessary. Exercise and an active life in general are very important for patients with heart failure. Exercise program will indicate a physical activity as part of cardiac rehabilitation program.
The doctor will indicate patients with heart failure tracking weight. For example, if a patient with sudden gain 0.91 to 1.36 kg will be prescribed an additional diuretic for that day.
Patients should continue treatment for related diseases (hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease) or aggravating factors of heart failure (fever, arrhythmia, anemia or infection).
Patients with asystole should be monitored periodically to assess effectiveness of treatment and make any changes in therapy to prevent worsening of disease and complications.
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