What does low ejection fraction mean?

Q. Please interpret my echo results taken for shortness of breath.

Answered by
Dr. Isaac Gana
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 12, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jun 28, 2023

Hello doctor,

I have shortness of breath. I have done transthoracic echo complete with Doppler interpretation. I have attached the report. Kindly suggest.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have thoroughly gone through your echo investigation (attachment removed to protect patient identity), most of the parameters were noted to be within normal range with the exception of ejection fraction. The ejection fraction was noted to be 50% which is slightly reduced but not too significant. Normal is around 50 to 70 %. Reduced ejection fraction is a sign of heart failure which is presenting in your case as shortness of breath alongside palpitations.

Thank you doctor,

Are you saying I have a heart failure? You said it is slightly reduced.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

According to the result of the investigation, your ejection fraction (EF) was recorded to be 50% we regard it to be low normal to mildly abnormal meaning it is slightly abnormal in plain english. The fact that you are having shortness of breath with palpitations is because the ejection fraction is slightly abnormal. Ejection fraction is the measure of blood pumped from your heart to the rest of your body. If the ejection fraction is abnormal, the level of blood pumped to your body will be reduced therefore reducing the amount of oxygen in your body which is the reason why you are experiencing shortness of breath. In order to know the level of heart failure you have, I need to ask these questions. Do you experience shortness of breath physical activity or at rest? Are you unable to perform certain physical activities or you experiencing chest pain? Do you have a history of heart disease? Or history of heart disease in your family? What is your weight, height, and blood pressure?

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