Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet the body’s physiological requirements. Anemia alters the cardiovascular physiology through compensatory direct hemodynamic and indirect non-hemodynamic mechanisms. While in the initial stages, the non-compensatory mechanisms, like the release of Erythropoietin predominates, on progression of anemia severity or duration hemodynamic mechanisms come into play. These hemodynamic mechanisms result in an increase in the cardiac output to meet the tissue oxygen demand. Chronic state of anemia can irreversibly affect the cardiovascular system in the form of atherosclerotic changes and cardiac remodelling. Anemia has been identified as a predictor of both development of, and prognosis of cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease, heart failure, and arrhythmias. Prevention, timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment of anemia can improve cardiovascular disease outcomes.
Audience Take Away Notes
- Pathophysiological pathways of cardiovascular manifestations of anemia
- Anemia as a risk factor and prognostic indicator for cardiovascular disease outcomes