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What does it mean if heart beats only 20 percent?

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Practicing since : 2004
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What does it mean when your heart only beats 20 percent?
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 4 hours later

Thanks for your query.

Important aspects of your query are:
•     65 year old male
•     Known case of congestive heart failure and stroke

Heart beats count in beats per minute. So since you have mentioned it as percentage, I assume it to be the ejection fraction(A functional description/index of the heart).

Ejection fraction is measured in percentage. Ejection fraction is the fraction of Blood pumped out of the Right Ventricle of the heart to the Pulmonary Circulation (lungs) and Left Ventricle of the heart to the Systemic Circulation (brain and body) with each Heart beat or Cardiac cycle. The term ejection fraction thus applies to forward performance of both the right and left ventricles.

In a healthy man normal ejection fraction is between 55-70%. If Ef is 20%, it indicate severily compromised heart function leading to congestive cardiac failure. The ejection fraction may decrease if: there is weakened heart muscle, such as dilated cardiomyopathy; a heart attack has damaged the heart; there are heart valve problems; there is long-standing, uncontrolled high blood pressure.

I hope my answer has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wishing your father a speedy recovery.

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