Decompensation

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In medicine, decompensation is the functional deterioration of a previously working structure or system. Decompensation may occur due to fatigue, stress, illness, or old age. When a system is "compensated", it is able to function despite stressors or defects. Decompensation describes an inability to compensate for these deficiencies. It is a general term commonly used in medicine to describe a variety of situations.

Physiology[edit]

For example, cardiac decompensation may refer to the failure of the heart to maintain adequate blood circulation, after long-standing (previously compensated) vascular disease (see heart failure). Short-term treatment of cardiac decompensation can be achieved through administration of dobutamine, resulting in an increase in heart contractility via an inotropic effect.[1]

Kidney failure can also occur following a slow degradation of kidney function due to an underlying untreated illness; the symptoms of the latter can then become much more severe due to the lack of efficient compensation by the kidney.

Psychology[edit]

In psychology, the term refers to the inability to maintain defense mechanisms in response to stress, resulting in personality disturbance or psychological imbalance. [2][3] Some who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder may decompensate into persecutory delusions to defend against a troubling reality.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Joseph et al. (2009). "Acute Decompensated Heart Failure". Texas Heart Institute Journal. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Carol D Tamparo, Marcia A Lewis (2011). Diseases of the Human Body. F.A. Davis Company. pp. 527. ISBN 978-0803625051. 
  3. ^ "Free Dictionary". Free Dictionary. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Theodore Million (2011). Disorders of Personality:Introducing a DSM / ICD Spectrum from Normal to Abnormal 3rd Edition. Wiley. pp. 407-408. ISBN 978-0470040935. 


External links[edit]