Heart1.com: Great Information, Real Community, Better Living.
 Register
 Login
 Main Page
 Heart News
Feature Story
 Education Center
Conditions
Procedures
Diagnostics
 Heart Attack Center
Prevention
Survivors
Dr. Tod Engelhardt  Heart
 Hero™

Dr. Tod Engelhardt:
Combating Major Blood Clots.
About Heroes
 Join the Discussion  in  Our Forums
 Community
Heart1 Forums
Patient Stories
 Reference
Online Resources
Video Library
advertisement
Search the Body1 Network
April 05, 2020  
HEART NEWS: Feature Story

  • Print this Article
  • Email this Article
  • Links/Reprints
  • What's Your Ejection Fraction? You Should Know

    What's Your Ejection Fraction? You Should Know


    April 15, 2002
    We all know about cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes and the negative effects they can have on your health. But on your next visit to the doctor, there's another number you should be asking about: ejection fraction. In particular, survivors of a heart attack should know about this often ignored heart statistic.

    Measuring your ejection fraction is a simple, painless way for a doctor to monitor the your heart’s health following a heart attack. And new research shows that knowing your ejection fraction could help you seek treatment you may otherwise have ignored.
    See Ejection Fraction    
    Take a closer look at your heart's preformance after a heart attack.

    What Is It?

    Ejection fraction is the percentage of blood pumped from your large heart chamber (ventricle) with each heartbeat.
    Typically, one beat clears just more than half the blood from that chamber.

    Each ventricle has an ejection fraction. However, heart failure usually occurs on the left side of the heart. Doctors will measure the left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF) to determine how well the heart is doing. Ejection fraction, or EF, usually refers to LVEF, while doctors usually specify right ventricle ejection fraction if they are referring to the less common measurement.

    What should my ejection fraction be?

    Normal ejection fraction is between 55-75. A measurement under 40 may be evidence of heart failure or cardiomyopathy. An EF between 40 and 55 indicates damage, perhaps from a previous heart attack, but it may not indicate heart failure. In severe cases, EF can drop below 5 percent. EF higher than 75 percent could indicate a heart condition like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    A normal ejection fraction reading does not mean your heart is not damaged. If the heart failure is in the atria rather than the ventricles, EF may register as normal. LVEF may be normal if the failure is in the right ventricle. In addition, some conditions, including cardiomyopathy, do not always lower a patient’s EF.

    How is EF measured?

    Some diagnostic procedures can be time consuming, expensive and invasive. EF, however, is usually tested with an echocardiogram, a painless, uninvasive test that uses ultrasound waves to take pictures of your heart. An echocardiogram can be performed right in your doctor's office. EF can also be measured in conjunction with other tests, including MUGA scan, CAT scan, cardiac catheterization, stress test or nuclear stress test.

    What is the treatment for a low ejection fraction?

    Low EF often cannot be cured. Treatment typically focuses on reducing symptoms and keeping the condition from getting worse. This may include changes in diet and exercise, medications, surgical procedures and use of devices like implantable defibrillators.

     

    Last updated: 15-Apr-02

    Comments

  • Add Comment
  •    
    Interact on Heart1

    Discuss this topic with others.
     
    Feature Archives

    Heart Disease Patients Need to Exercise to Benefit from the Protective Effects of Wine

    Effective Treatment for Heart Failure Possible Following Discovery of Heart Molecule

    Significant Decrease in Heart Disease after Prison Smoking Bans

    Heart Failure Patients Who Sleep Poorly Are at Double the Risk for Hospitalization

    Long-Term Survival Possible for Pediatric Heart Transplant Patients

    Next 5 Features ...

    More Features ...
       
     
    Related Multimedia

    Cholesterol and the Ejection Fraction: Risk factors for Cardiac Arrests - Interview with Dr. Coman

    Dr. Schneller Question: What drew you to rheumatology?

    Explaining Arthroscopy - Interview with Dr. James Lubowitz

    More Features ...
     
    Related Content
    Heart Failure

    Heart Disease (CAD

    Heart Attack

    Heart Attack Risk Factors

    Skip the Fat and Sodium to Stay Stroke Free

    More Features ...
     
    Home About Us Press Jobs Advertise With Us Contact Us
    advertisement
    © 2020 Body1 All rights reserved.
    Disclaimer: The information provided within this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for consultation with your physician or healthcare provider. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Owners and Sponsors of this site. By using this site you agree to indemnify, and hold the Owners and Sponsors harmless, from any disputes arising from content posted here-in.