My husband got a new ICD (defibrillator/pacemaker). He had an EF of 35% on one side and 41% on the other, and a slight heart attack, that they said damaged the muscle. His heart rate was in the 50s. I wonder if he really needed it. He did not want it. The selling point, that if his heart stops, it would start it again.. Now we are linked (shackled?) to medtronics the rest of our lives. Did you notice that their monthly monitoring fee for the device is the same as an office visit? Nice business. So far, a week out, I felt better before the procedure.
I recently had an echo done so I learned about ejection fraction. Here is what I found on the internet concerning what a normal EF should be. Hope this helps.
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
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