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This page will provide you with a comprehensive overview on the etiology of diastolic heart failure as it pertains to normal left ventricular function heart failure. Specifically, it will discuss what heart failure is, the different types of heart failure,why normal left ventricular systolic function is not common in normal left ventricular function heart failure,and what would be the left ventricular function normal range. We sincerely hope that our website helps to further your understanding on how it is possible to have normal left ventricular function heart failure. If you have further questions, please contact a healthcare professional.
Defining Heart Failure
Heart failure, a condition where the pumping action of your heart is not strong enough to move blood around, is extremely common in both the developing and developed world. It is a serious condition that has no cure, and thus, it is crucial for the general public to learn about the various forms. The following article will provide information on how normal left ventricular function heart failure is possible.
Prior to examining how a person can have normal left ventricular heart failure, it is important to recognize that there are two types of heart failure: Systolic left ventricular dysfunction (or systolic heart failure) and heart failure with preserved left ventricular function (diastolic heart failure). Importantly, both types of heart failure are defined by the specific function that is affected; systole is contraction and diastole is relaxation. During systolic left ventricular dysfunction the left ventricle heart muscle doesn’t contract with enough force, and therefore, less oxygen-rich blood is pumped throughout the body. On the contrary, during heart failure with preserved left ventricular function the heart’s left ventricle contracts normally, but does not relax properly or is stiff. This ultimately means that less blood is able to enter the ventricle prior to pumping.
Regular Heart Function
In order to appreciate both types of heart failure, it is also important to have a general understanding on how the heart functions. A heart is made up of four chambers, two upper chambers (the atria) and two lower ones (the ventricles), that are connected by valves. Importantly, the right atrium receives blood from the circulatory system (from throughout the body) and the left ventricle receives blood from the pulmonary system (from the lungs after oxygenation). A healthy heart pumps blood in several stages. Firstly, the heart is relaxed (early diastole) and blood pools into the right atrium until it contracts (atrial systole). This blood is then pushed into the right ventricle through a valve. After the right ventricle is full it starts contracting and forces the blood to the lungs. Oxygen is added to the blood by the lungs and it travels back to fill the left ventricle (during diastole). Lastly, the left ventricle contracts to push blood back into the circulatory system (systole). It is important to note that the entire process occurs simultaneously; the ventricles are contracting together.
In normal left ventricular function heart failure a person may have normal left ventricular systolic function or even low normal left ventricular systolic function; although its arguable, systolic and diastolic deficiencies always coexist in the same ventricle. When it is said that the person has normal left ventricular systolic function or low normal left ventricular systolic function, it simply means that the systolic function appears normal. It is important to note, however, that the function is measured primarily by the ejection fraction (discussed later), and thus, may not be representative. Similarly, normal left ventricular diastolic function means the ventricle is relaxing properly and low normal left ventricular diastolic function means the ventricle is relaxing but perhaps more stiffly. The relaxation stage is especially important because it helps determine how much blood can be pumped out during systole and affects the overall bias in the ejection fraction.
Ejection fraction, a fraction of the blood entering your heart versus the amount of blood being pumped out, is a test that determines how well your heart pumps with each beat. The ejection fraction itself is a ratio but it usually expressed as a percentage. As there are two ventricles we measure both the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and the right ventricular ejection fraction (RVEF). Importantly, because the left ventricle is the main pumping unit we primarily focus on it when considering how much blood is pumped throughout the body. A normal heart pumps a little more than half the heart’s blood volume with each beat. This means that the left ventricular function normal range is about 55-70%; a higher value means that more of the blood that initially entered the ventricle ispumped out with each heartbeat.It is important to recognize the biases this fraction can present. For example, if a patient has a low normal left ventricular systolic function but has a low normal left ventricular diastolic function, the ratio will still suggest the person is in the left ventricular function normal range. On the contrary, if a person has normal left ventricular systolic function and a low left ventricular function, their ejection fraction will not appear as a low normal left ventricular function but rather as an above average left ventricular function. There are many reasons a person can have a low normal left ventricular function including: when the heart muscle has become damaged due to a heart attack and heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy). Moreover, approximately 30–50% of patients with heart failure have normal or low normal left ventricular function.This is important to consider in normal left ventricular function heart failure because it is typically a diastolic issue and the ejection fraction misconstrues the information by suggesting the person is in a left ventricular function normal range. Furthermore, physicians use an ejection fraction of less than 40% to confirm a diagnosis of heart failure.
Normal Left Ventricular Heart Failure Diagnosis: Current Guidelines
Most of the published literature and current guidelines do not adequately define what characterizes normal left ventricular heart failure they do acknowledge three shared features: clinical signs and symptoms of heart failure, evidence of normal systolic function and evidence of diastolic dysfunction. Typically, a comprehensive 2D Doppler echocardiogram can easily demonstrate abnormal myocardial relaxation, decreased compliance (shortened mitral A-wave duration and mitral deceleration time) and increased filling pressure.
If you would like more information on normal left ventricular function heart failure, please contact your local healthcare professional.