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a pathological condition of the heart muscle caused by the growth therein of connective tissue in place of functional muscular tissue.
Cardiosclerosis as a rule is the result of a chronic or acute heart disease (coronary insufficiency, myocarditis). The condition may be either diffuse or focal. For example, myocardial infarction may result in focal sclerosis. One of the chief and earliest symptoms of cardiosclerosis is shortness of breath (only during physical exertion at the onset of the condition, and later on at rest). As the condition progresses the signs of cardiac insufficiency appear: rapid pulse, edema in the legs, enlargement of the liver, pulmonary congestion, and dyspneic attacks. Irregular heart beat is a frequent manifestation of cardiosclerosis (ex-trasystole, auricular fibrillation). The heart enlarges. The proliferation of connective tissue in the heart valves may result in heart defects.
Treatment is aimed at improving the blood supply to the heart muscle (administration of vasodilators and anticoagulants), correcting cardiac insufficiency (administration of strophanthin, digitalis, diuretics), and eliminating arrhythmia (quinidine, novocainamide).
REFERENCESLang, G. F. Bolezni sistemy krovoobrashcheniia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1958.
Miasnikov, A. L. Gipertonicheskaia bolezn’i ateroskleroz. Moscow, 1965.
Wenckebach, K. F. Herz- und Kreislauf-Insuffizienz, 4th ed. Dresden-Leipzig, 1942.
White, P. D. Heart Disease, 3rd ed. New York, 1945.
N. R. PALEEV