Diagnostic Tests for Heart failure


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Diagnostic Test list for Heart failure: The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Heart failure includes:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Heart failure: In many cases, physicians diagnose heart failure during a physical examination. Readily identifiable signs are shortness of breath, fatigue, and swollen ankles and feet. The physician also will check for the presence of risk factors, such as hypertension, obesity, and a history of heart problems. Using a stethoscope, the physician can listen to a patient breathe and identify the sounds of lung congestion. The stethoscope also picks up the abnormal heart sounds indicative of heart failure.

If neither the symptoms nor the patient's history point to a clear-cut diagnosis, the physician may recommend any of a variety of laboratory tests, including, initially, an electrocardiogram, which uses recording devices placed on the chest to evaluate the electrical activity of a patient's heartbeat.

Echocardiography is another means of evaluating heart function from outside the body. Sound waves bounced off the heart are recorded and translated into images. The pictures can reveal abnormal heart size, shape, and movement. Echocardiography also can be used to calculate a patient's ejection fraction, a measure of the amount of blood pumped out when the heart contracts.

Another possible test is the chest x ray, which also determines the heart's size and shape, as well as the presence of congestion in the lungs.1

Diagnosis of Heart failure: medical news summaries: The following medical news items are relevant to diagnosis of Heart failure:



Footnotes:
1. excerpt from NHLBI, Heart Failure: NHLBI

Last revision: May 29, 2003

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