What is high-output heart failure?

High-Output Heart Failure

What causes high-output heart failure?

There are lots of conditions that can increase the body's need for blood and oxygen enough to cause high-output heart failure. These conditions include anemia, hyperthyroidism, and pregnancy. The causes of high-output heart failure are different from the cause of other types of heart failure. But the end result is the same: Your heart isn't supplying enough blood to meet your body's needs. High-output heart failure has the same symptoms of heart failure, such as fatigue and shortness of breath.

Causes of high-output heart failure

This is not a complete list of possible causes.

Severe anemia.

With severe anemia, the blood contains too few oxygen-carrying red blood cells. This requires the heart to pump more blood each minute to deliver enough oxygen to the tissues of the body.


It causes the thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormone. This increases the body's overall metabolism and increases the demand for blood flow.

Arteriovenous fistula.

This is an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein. It short-circuits the circulation and forces the heart to pump more blood overall to deliver the usual amount of blood to the vital organs.


This is a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1). It leads to increased metabolic demand and increased need for blood flow.

Paget's disease.

This is an abnormal breakdown and regrowth of bones. It can cause too many blood vessels to develop. The increased number of blood vessels requires more blood from the heart.

What is high-output heart failure?

High-output heart failure is a problem that happens when the body's need for blood is unusually high, so heart failure symptoms happen even though the heart is working well.

This type of heart failure happens to a very small number of people with heart failure. It occurs when the normally functioning heart can't keep up with an unusually high demand for blood to one or more organs in the body. The heart may be working well otherwise, but it can't pump out enough blood to keep up with this extra need.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.

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