Heart failure affects nearly one million people in the UK. Half of these patients have normal, or near normal, left ventricular ejection fraction and are classified as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Newer imaging techniques have confirmed that systolic function in HFpEF patients is not completely normal, with reduced long axis function and extensive but subtle changes on exercise. Patients are likely to be older women with a history of hypertension. Other cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes mellitus, atrial fibrillation and coronary artery disease are prevalent in the HFpEF population. Clinical symptoms and signs in HFpEF are often nonspecific although the primary symptoms are breathlessness, fatigue and fluid retention. There is still no single diagnostic test for HFpEF and the cornerstone in the assessment remains a thorough medical history and physical examination. The duration and extent of the symptoms are relevant and it is useful to classify patients according to the NYHA functional assessment. Physical examination should include the patient's BMI and weight, heart rate and rhythm, lying and standing blood pressure and auscultation to rule out valvular disease and pulmonary congestion. Estimating the jugular venous pressure and the presence of peripheral oedema allows assessment of the patient's volume status. Patients with heart failure should be referred to heart failure nurses and have follow-up with local cardiology services as these have both been shown to reduce mortality.
|Pages (from-to)||21-4, 2-3|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2015|
- Disease Management
- Heart Failure/physiopathology
- Stroke Volume/physiology