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Differential Diagnosis of Acute Heart Failure: Brain Versus Heart

Niklasch, Denise Miller DNP, ANP-BC, CNRN

Section Editor(s): Ramponi, Denise DNP, CRNP, FAEN, CEN

doi: 10.1097/TME.0b013e3182346e12

Arrhythmias to transient cardiac failure have been reported in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. The cardiac dysfunction can mimic an acute myocardial infarction, and in the presence of severe neurological compromise, careful observation is needed to differentiate the etiology of cardiac failure. Accurate history, rapid assessment, and interpretation of diagnostics are essential to determine the accurate diagnosis and in identifying appropriate treatment.

Department of Neurology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; and College of Nursing, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Disclosure: The author reports no conflicts of interest.

Corresponding Author: Denise Miller Niklasch, DNP, ANP-BC, CNRN, Department of Neurology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 9200 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53226 (

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.