This is one of a series of articles written by eminent clinicians for the purpose of extending information concerning the official medicines. The twenty-four articles in this series have been planned and developed through the cooperation of the U. S. Pharmacopeial Committee of Revision andThe Journal of the American Medical Association.—Ed.
By cardiac decompensation is meant a combination of symptoms and signs that indicate that the heart by reason of its abnormal condition no longer is able to maintain an efficient circulation. In cardiac decompensation is not included the circulatory failure of acute infectious diseases. Various forms of heart disease may lead to the condition spoken of as cardiac decompensation, such as chronic valvular heart disease, chronic nonvalvular or myocardial heart disease, chronic pericarditis or congenital cardiac lesions. As factors in the production of these forms of heart disease, rheumatic fever and hypertension play very important