A cough should not always be thought of as a bronchial infection. Even a so-called "heart cough" can be behind the symptom. Various causes can be behind the bronchial irritation. Typically, chronic cardiac insufficiency or acute heart failure causes concomitant symptoms of the respiratory system. Often the heart weakness is due to a shortness of breath but also a slight irritant cough may appear concomitant. The cough itself is not a great danger, but is a symptom of a life-threatening disease.


There is acute or chronic cardiac insufficiency behind the coughing of the heart, which can be associated with various consequences. The pumping ability of the heart muscle is limited due to various underlying diseases, whereby the blood supply to the body is limited. The blood in the heart can not be sufficiently pumped forward, causing it to partially back up into the right heart and venous system.

The blood also partly backfills into the pulmonary vessels, so that increased pressure can lead to water retention in the form of pulmonary edema. The congestion of the blood in the pulmonary circulation can additionally lead to blockage and irritation of the bronchial tubes, creating a feeling of coughing. However, this cough alone has no disease value and is not related to an infection.


A suspected diagnosis can often already be made on the basis of an anamnesis survey by questioning the condition and the symptoms as well as by a subsequent physical examination. Typically, sufferers describe a general weakness and limited capacity. With advanced stages, more severe symptoms of heart failure may appear, suggesting that the lack of cardiac output can not be adequately compensated by the body.

The physical examination can be used to examine and quantify typical signs of heart failure. To accurately measure the extent of the disease, cardiac or echo catheterization is used. Here the heart movements and ejection performances can be measured exactly. A backwater of the blood can often be conspicuous in the X-ray of the chest first.

Accompanying symptoms

The symptoms of heart failure can vary and be diverse. Their severity depends on the stage of the disease and the reaction of the body. In cardiac insufficiency, the heart does not pump enough blood through the body, causing cells and organs of the body to be deprived and venous blood dammed in front of the heart. Often sufferers report weakness, malaise, chest pain, shortness of breath, rattling breathing, leg edema, ascites and cough. These symptoms can occur in different combinations and manifestations depending on the severity of heart failure.

In very advanced cases, the most severe respiratory distress and weakness may predominate and loss of consciousness may result from the shock situation. Many other illnesses often occur in combination with heart failure. For example, coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus or COPD are typical comorbidities, which in turn are associated with severe symptoms.


A so-called "cough with sputum" can be a symptom in various diseases. The ejection is usually mucus, which can occur through infectious agents in the mucous membrane but also in the course of cardiac insufficiency. When the heart weakens, the blood in the pulmonary circulation, which is why fluid is transferred to the lungs and edema and bronchial irritation can be caused.

The mucous membranes can produce a mucous secretion, which leads to a strong coughing and can be coughed off coughing. Sometimes large amounts of mucus can be coughed off. This mucus can continue to be examined for potential infectious agents to rule out an underlying infection.

Blood in the cough

Blood in cough can be harmless and temporary or a warning symptom of a dangerous disease. Often, temporary irritation to the bronchial mucosa is behind the blood in the cough. Thus, the heart failure can trigger the symptom. The pulmonary congestion in the pulmonary circulation irritates the bronchial tubes, which can lead to small bleeding of the mucous membranes.
Larger amounts of coughing blood may need to be further investigated because tumors or severe lung infections may also be behind the symptom.


The treatment of the so-called "heart cough" is largely due to the treatment of heart failure. Heart failure can be transient or chronic, depending on the underlying disease and the extent of cardiac cell damage. This is often due to diseases of the coronary coronary vessels, which are due to risk factors such as smoking, obesity and diabetes. Control of these risk factors plays a crucial role in maintaining heart health.

In the treatment of existing chronic heart failure, a healthy diet and moderate exercise can also slow the progression of the disease. For the symptomatic treatment of heart failure, various medications may be used which reduce cardiac action, reduce blood volume and prevent potential complications.

Duration / Forecast

The duration of the heartbeat is difficult to predict, as the cough can be a fluctuating symptom of chronic heart failure. As part of the disease, the cough may be temporary and subside. Heart failure is in many cases a chronic disease that can be associated with symptom-free intervals and, on the other hand, with acute so-called "decompensations".

In the long term, heart failure reduces life expectancy. The coughing of heart failure indicates an advanced congestion of the blood into the pulmonary circulation at an advanced stage of the disease.


The disease process of heart failure can be very variable. It can develop slowly and seemingly without cause over a number of years or can be attributed to a specific event such as a heart attack. Cardiac insufficiency is usually noticeable due to increased respiratory distress with low physical activity. Over the years, heart failure may worsen and may be accompanied by transient symptoms such as shortness of breath, rattles, leg edema, ascites, and coughing.

In the long term, this can severely damage the lungs and liver. An advanced heart failure is associated with a significantly reduced life expectancy, as life-threatening pulmonary edema may arise. Only by a heart transplantation, the disease can be cured in the chronic stage.

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