At Valley, we treat all types of heart failure using a comprehensive, team approach. Types of heart failure include the following:
Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFPEF or Diastolic Heart Failure)
In this condition, the ejection fraction (squeezing force of the heart muscle, which should be above 50%) is normal and symptoms are mainly due to decreased elasticity of the muscle, resulting in an increased stiffness of the walls and intracardiac pressures.
The cause of this condition is unclear. However, there is usually a thickening of the heart muscle due to either inadequate treatment of hypertension, or different deposits in the heart muscle.
Heart Failure with Reduced Ejection Fraction (HFREF or Systolic Heart Failure)
The hallmark of this condition is diminished contractility of the heart muscle, resulting in a cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle, often causing an enlarged heart) with the inability to maintain adequate blood flow for different organs.
Some of the causes include coronary artery disease and prior heart attacks (ischemic cardiomyopathy), viral infections and toxins such as alcohol, heart valve abnormalities or certain types of arrhythmias (rapid heartbeats or extra beats) (dilated/non-ischemic cardiomyopathy).
In both conditions, the blood pools in the lungs, making it difficult for the blood to fill with oxygen, which leads to the above symptoms. In addition, patients with HFREF and left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 35% are at increased risk of sudden cardiac death due to potentially dangerous arrhythmia arising from the ventricles (the main pumping chambers of the heart) causing ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation.