Recently my cardiologist told me I have a stiff heart. He said the left ventricle doesn't relax proplerly. Can you help me understand what damage that it is doing to my heart/body and is it something that can be corrected? By the way, I am having a Thalium test in a few days. What will it tell me concerning my condition? Thanks, Brenda
Thank you for your question. What your doctor is referring to is called "diastolic dysfunction". There are two phases of the heart cycle - contraction and relaxation. There can be abnormalities in either of these phases. The one most people know about is the problem with contraction also called heart failure. The problem with relaxation is a bit more complex. It is usually due to long standing high blood pressure. The treatment is medications that help the heart to "relax". With treatment the condition is usually well tolerated.
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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