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Source: Disturbances Of The Heart
Fatty degeneration of the heart muscle may be caused by acute
poisoning (as phosphorus, arsenic, etc.), by serious infections, or
it may follow fibrosis of the heart or coronary artery disease. The
symptoms are those of serious circulatory weaicnens, which does not
seem to improve under any ordinary management. It is difficult, if
the heart is enlarged, to determine whether there is more or less
serious acute dilatation or whether the heart muscle has suffered
The treatment of such a patient requires the best of judgment as to
the amount of food and liquid that should be given, the regulation
of the administration of laxatives, the sponging of the body, the
means of producing sleep if there is insomnia, how much reading,
conversation or amusements should be allowed, how much stimulation
by stryclmin or other stimulating drug should be given, and whether
or not very small doses of digitalis should he tried. These are all
matters for individualizing, and for the best medical judgment which
we are called on to give. How much repair can take place in a heart
muscle when fatty degeneration has started we do not know. Such
treatment will give the heart the only chance it has to recuperate,
but the prognosis is bad.
Next: Fatty Heart
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