Left Ventricular Hypokinesia At 30%

Question

Asked by ROLGUIN

Left Ventricular Hypokinesia At 30%

My wife is 37 had a strong pain in her back and breathless on August 2007 and she was diagnosed she got a beggining or a little heart attack.

She under medication to keep her blood thin. And on May 2008 after a lot of exams she was diagnosed with myocardiopathy and the Echocardiography reports shows up:

The left ventricule appears dilated. The end diastolic diameter is approximately 63mm. There is severe anterior hypokinesia. Left ventricular systolic function appears severely depressed with a calculated ejection fraction based on fractional shortening of approximately 30%. Left atrium and right sided chamber dimensions appear grossly normal. Mitral, aortic and tricuspid valves appear grossly normal. Doppler interrogation in unremarkable. There is no pericardial effusion.

Conclusion: Dilated cardiomyopathy with severe anterior hypokinesia.

In April-2009 she did:

  • Radiocardiography : Fractional Shortening value was 40%

  • Echo doppler cardiogram: Fractional Shortening value was 52%

Now, the doctor want to put in her a defibrillator, even after her heart's improvement.

Our question is: Does she really needs this? I know that could safe her life but in her mind she thinks she will look ugly after the surgery.

Answer

Hi ROLGUIN,

When it comes to the heart, I would do exactly what your physician is recommending. If your wife is skeptical because of appearance or for any other reason, I encourage you to get a second opinion. However, chances are the next physician will make similar recommendations. If not, then make sure you get a clear explanation of why the defibrillator is not necessary and what will be done instead to treat the condition.

Best of luck,

Monica M. Skidmore, MS, RD, LDN