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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


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!   

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Updated April 2013
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