Diagnosis of diastolic heart failure
- Cite this article as:
- Fukuta, H. & Little, W.C. Curr Cardiol Rep (2007) 9: 224. doi:10.1007/BF02938354
Nearly half of patients with heart failure (HF) have a normal ejection fraction (EF) and have been labeled as having diastolic HF. Diastolic HF is characterized by a normal EF, a variable amount of concentric left ventricular hypertrophy, and abnormal diastolic function. Differentiating diastolic HF from HF with a reduced EF (systolic HF) is important because these two forms of HF have different pathophysiology and thus might require different therapeutic approaches. Nevertheless, patients with diastolic HF and those wity systolic HF have similar clinical symptoms and signs. Thus, clinical history and physical examination do not differentiate between diastolic and systolic HF. There is accumulating evidence that diastolic dysfunction is related to the severity of HF and prognosis regardless of EF. Thus, it is important to evaluate both systolic and diastolic function not only to differentiate between diastolic and systolic HF but also to identify high-risk patients.