Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a cardiovascular disease that affects about 5.7 million people in the US. The most prevalent comorbidity to CHF is Atrial Fibrillation (AF). These two pathologies present in a mutually worsening manner in that patients diagnosed with CHF are more likely to develop AF and patients who are diagnosed with AF are more likely to develop CHF. The underlying pathophysiological mechanisms have been studied for several years and the most recent efforts are in the cellular and molecular basis. In this paper, we focus on manifestation of CHF and AF symptoms as influenced by the posture assumed by a patient. We consider three postures – Left lateral decubitus, right lateral decubitus and supine. We review the clinical evidence gathered thus far relating enhanced sympathetic activity to the left lateral decubitus and supine positions with equivalent evidence on the enhanced vagal activity when the right lateral decubitus posture is assumed. We conclude with a compilation of all the hypotheses on the mechanism by which the right lateral decubitus posture alleviates the symptoms of CHF and AF, and future avenues for investigation.
Vijay K. Varadan, Prashanth S. Kumar, and Mouli Ramasamy, "Left lateral decubitus position on patients with atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure," Proc. SPIE 10167, Nanosensors, Biosensors, Info-Tech Sensors and 3D Systems 2017, 1016705 (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 26, 2017; Published: 24 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2260646.
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