Heart Information Center
 
Ask a Heart Doctor
  Back to previous page

 

Help us improve this service.

Your feedback will help guide us in developing this site.

Ask a Texas Heart Institute Doctor 
Informed patients make better patients.

Question:

In a healthy person, does ejection fraction change frequently? 

In a healthy person, does Ejection Fraction change frequently, i.e., like a blood pressure reading? I had a cardiac MRI months back and the findings in the MD's summary read: "Normal global and regional LV function with an EF of 57%. No myocardial infarction, scarring, fibrosis, or infiltrative heart disease noted on late gadolinium enhancement. No structural heart defect is demonstrated."

submitted by Rich from Pennsylvania on 4/23/2013

Answer:

Deborah Meyers, MDby Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Deborah E. Meyers, MD  

Dear Rich,
 
That is a great question. 
 
The ejection fraction is how we cardiology types measure the percentage of the volume of blood that is contained in the left ventricle (the strongest pumping chamber of the heart) that is pumped out into the aorta with each heart beat. This tells us if the pumping function of the heart is normal or reduced.
 
Think of it this way: if the heart collapsed flat and pumped out every bit of blood each time the heart ejected then the ejection fraction would be 100%. This is not what happens in real life; the heart pumps out only part of the volume of blood, and in fact, the low end of normal is 50%. So a normal heart pumps 50% or more of the volume of blood that is contained in the chamber with each heart beat.
 
We most commonly measure the ejection fraction at rest with echocardiography, and this should remain fairly stable in a healthy individual if serial studies are performed over time.  
 
But there are other ways to measure ejection fraction - in the cardiac catheter lab, with MRI imaging, and with nuclear medicine techniques. If you studied the same person with different techniques each modality would probably come up with slightly different ejection fraction measurements. They would all be technically correct, but would reflect differences in the modality.
 
Your EF is absolutely and happily normal and the rest of the comments are also reassuringly normal. Good for you.
 
Stay healthy and Stay fit!   

See also on this site: 

Has your question or a similar one already been answered?
Search all the Heart Doctor questions and answers.

To search for a doctor or access St. Luke's physician referral service, use the "Find a Doctor" link at the top of this page.


Updated April 2013
Top  
Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to us on YouTube Find Us on Flicikr Follow Us on Pinterest Add us on Google+

Please contact our Webmaster with questions or comments.
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© Copyright 1996-2014 Texas Heart Institute.
All rights reserved.
This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. U.S. NEWS America's Best Hospitals 2013-14