does an ejection fraction of 40 definately mean you are in heart failure, and if so will you die definatively young? my friend's sister is only 28 and suffers from arrythmeas and a low ejection fraction. please write back ASAP
i just wanted to give a little more backround...my friend's sister started having arrythmeas when she was pregnant and was put on dijoxin and a beta blocker which didn't help much at all. she delivered her baby and and got off the meds and her arrythmeas seemed to get a bit better. her heart would go up over 200 before and now when it races a little it only goes up to about 120. then she noticed she was getting breathless while walking up stairs at work and she went to her doctor and they discovered that she had an ejection fraction of 40. is that really bad? does this mean she is def in heart failure, is this reversable, and is this an early death sentence? she is going to a cardiologist soon. my friend is really scared for her. thanks for responding.
Definitely not a death sentence! It sounds like postpartum cardiomyopathy which is reversible in most cases. Her ejection fraction should continue to improve. If for some strange reason it drops, there is always the option of a implanted defibrillator & the doctors would certainly consider that option if they thought she needed it.
I had an ablation for pvcs when my ejection fraction dropped to 40%. An EF of 40 does not mean your friend is in heart failure, but it does mean that her heart is not pumping as efficiently as it should. When my EF was 40, I also experienced shortness of breath, though it wasn't bad and I never correlated it to a drop in EF. Mine was discovered at a routine followup.
Has your friend also had problems with arrythmias, or were they brand new to her with the pregnancy? Has the doctor mentioned post partum cardiomyopathy? That is a possibilty. It is also possible that your friend had an underlying arrythmia and the pregnancy made it more apparent. Has the doctor discussed medications with her? ablation? I tried medications first, but didn't like the side effects. My EF returned to normal after two successful ablations for pvcs.
Hopefully "anacyde" will see your post. She has first-hand experience with post-partum CM and can share her story with you. She's very helpful and frequents the boards so hopefully, she'll pop in and see your question.
I agree that it sounds like PPCM (peripartum cardiomyopathy). I was diagnosed with a borderline case. My ejection fraction was 49 and my heart was enlarged. I was *NOT* in heart failure. Cardiomyopathy does not mean heart failure. I'm happy to report that, like many other women who develop PPCM, I recovered fully and my EF is now 65%. My heart size shrunk considerably and is now quite normal. It is not a death sentence at all. Most women recover, and most who recover get off of their medications and never have to give heart problems another thought (except for avoiding pregnancy, though new studies show relapse rates aren't as high as once believed).
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