Morbidity and mortality from heart failure is on the increase globally due to rising prevalence rates and
lack of appropriate evaluation and therapy. Approximately 50% of heart failure patients present with
evidence of left ventricular systolic dysfunction. This is manifested as low left ventricular ejection
fraction and is also called Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Clinical studies have
shown that approximately 40% of patients with congestive heart failure have predominantly diastolic
left ventricular dysfunction also called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) or
diastolic heart failure. Echocardiography is a non-invasive relatively cheap technique well suited to the
evaluation of left ventricular function and represents the gold standard for assessment of left
ventricular systolic function. Doppler echocardiography is a simple, noninvasive and safe technique
for assessment of diastolic function. With echocardiography, heart failure resulting from varying
aetiology can be conveniently diagnosed with out the disadvantage and detrimental health effects of
ionizing radiation. Echocardiographic evaluation guides appropriate therapy, determines prognosis
and predicts outcome in heart failure.
Dr. Okpara Ihunanya Chinyere
Department of Medicine, Benue State University Makurdi, P.M.B. 102119, Nigeria.
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