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  I would like to understand better the term Ejection Fraction. I have been
  hospitalized months ago with Congestive Heart Failure, during the past
  few months in talk with many health care people this term keeps coming
  up. I am on long term disibility now, and during my last visit it was
  stated my Ejection Fraction was between 15 and 20. I know from reading
  anything below 35 is reason for concern and >55 is considered normal.
  i have the clasic symptons the most concern is the shortness of breath
  walking or trying to climb a few sstars. I have two questions;(1)The Ejection of 15 to 20, how does that rate as far as cause for alarm;(2)
  Understanding the number itself, I was told some people in good shape
  have numbers in the 80 to 85 range.If >55, is normal and some people
  are as high as 80 to 85,is this based on 100% and do some reach this
  range, if so >55, seems the only a little over half of the heart action
  is being performed? I know there is a logical explenation to these numbers
  I'm just not seeing it now. You explination would be greatly appreciated.

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238668 tn?1232735930


Dear Stan
Thank you for your question. Ejection fraction (EF) is a measurement of how well the heart is pumping.  It represents a percentage of the total blood volume in the left ventricle that is pumped (ejected) with each beat of the heart.  As with any pump not all of the liquid is pumped out with each cycle.  Normal EF is in the 50-60% range.  Values higher than this are termed "hyperdynamic", meaning that the heart is forcefully contracting.  The lower the EF the worse the heart function.  A general breakdown of values is as follows: 40-50 % mild dysfunction; 25 - 39% moderate dysfunction; < 25% severe dysfunction.
I hope you find this information useful.  Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies.  Please feel free to write back with additional questions.
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter.  The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.

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