The two types of heart failure

Heart failure clinicians believe there are two types of heart failure.

The is when the heart fails to pump sufficiently well to send blood around the body. You may see this described, as LVSD, left ventricular systolic dysfunction, as it is the left ventricle of the heart, which is the chamber of the heart responsible for pumping blood out of the heart sending it around the body, or as HFREF, heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, a different way of saying the same thing.

The second type of heart failure is that of HFPEF, heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, or diastolic heart failure. Clinicians feel this is when the heart is unable to relax and fill with blood, it is able to pump the blood out but is not able to relax enough to fill up. This form of heart failure is often difficult to diagnose, the patient will have the classical symptoms of heart failure, but when an ECHO, a scan of the heart, is conducted it shows the heart is pumping well. Patients receive the same medication as patients who have an insufficient pumping problem with the heart, although the evidence around how the medication helps with this form of heart failure is not currently available.