Cardiologist Questions Pneumonia

Could my pneumonia have also affected my heart?

I suffered from a severe bout of pneumonia 3 months back, to the point where I was hospitalized to receive oxygen support as well. I am now back home though I still find breathing difficult and am undergoing respiratory therapy. Would this condition also have affected my heart?

3 Answers

Flu or pneumonia can cause heart failure, you should have an echo for evaluation of heart function.
First of all, you need to know if you indeed had pneumonia originally and had the usual symptoms like fever, cough, yellow sputum, shortness of breath, and you had elevated WBC on a blood test. Very important is a chest X-ray correlated with the pneumonia and, if sputum and/or blood cultures showed that certain bacteria suspected of causing the pneumonia, it allows the appropriate choice of antibiotics treatment and the length of treatment.

If patient's condition did improve, but never resolved, then we need to suspect one of the following:
-The condition became complicated by fluid around the lung (EFFUSION), and if lot presents then draining with simple procedure something needed if medications are not working. Special X-ray may become necessary if routine X-ray remains abnormal. CT scan of the chest is needed if the chest X-ray continues to show suspension of pneumonia after appropriate treatment.

-Congestive heart failure sometimes can be misdiagnosed as pneumonia, especially if fluids around the right lung or both lungs present. Blood test in the early stage of admission is usually helpful if the doctor is suspecting heart failure (BNP, PBNPT). If a patient is known to have a heart problem like weak heart, history of failure, heart attack, etc), in that context, getting sick with infection, especially pneumonia, may cause the heart to decompensate and heart failure may develop.

-Echocardiogram usually helpful to study the function of the heart. Also, if ongoing infection persists and doctors can’t tell where it is coming from the heart valve rarely can become infected, especially if the patient's immune system is not strong like we see in diabetes, advanced age, kidney failure, anemia, etc.

-Sometimes, if the pneumonia is viral pneumonia, not bacterial pneumonia, such as enfluenza and many viruses in our environment the viral infection can be longer in duration and it may cause weakness of the heart muscle called CARDIOMYOPATHY. Congestion heart failure may occur as a result. Treatment of the viral pneumonia sometimes may not alter the prognosis.