The ejection fraction is a measurement that doctors use to calculate the percentage of blood released each time the heart beats. As your heart beats, it pumps (secretes) blood into your body from two lower muscle chambers, the left and right ventricles. In a beat, both ventricles fill with blood as your heart relaxes.
However, multiple contractions are required to pump all the blood from the ventricles. The ejection fraction is a test that your doctor can use to determine what percentage of blood comes out of your left ventricle each time your heart beats and to understand how well your heart is working.
Ejection Fraction Improvement & Treatment
A high ejection fraction can indicate a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This condition causes the part of the heart muscle to become abnormally thick without any apparent cause.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is often genetic. It is difficult for doctors to diagnose the disease because many people do not have any symptoms.
- In a small number of people, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can lead to severe abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) that require treatment.
- If you have a family history of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, tell your doctor so that they can follow you up over time.
There are many treatment options for abnormal ejection fractions. Some of the more common treatments include:
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), or beta-blockers. These medications can reduce the number of hormones that weaken the heart muscle. They can also slow the progression of heart disease.
- Diuretics – These medications can help eliminate excess fluid that causes swelling and shortness of breath.
- Hydralgine/Nitrate – These two drugs have successfully lowered blood pressure in people who have symptoms while taking ACE inhibitors, ARBs, and beta-blockers.
- Angiotensin Receptor-neprilysin Inhibitor (ARNI) – This drug combines two medications (sacubitril and valsartan) that reduce blood pressure and heart workload.
- Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) Inhibitor – If you have type 2 diabetes, this medication can help reduce your risk of heart failure and severe kidney complications.
- Biventricular Pacemaker – This pacemaker helps synchronize the contractions of the left and right ventricles to work at their maximum load.
- The Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator -This device can be placed directly on the chest. It sends tiny electrical impulses to keep the heart beating regularly.
As there are many treatment options, we can say that the ejection fraction can be improved. But if you ask for any time duration, that is quite tough. But in some cases, it is possible to get cured within three months, depending on the treatment procedure of the patient. It may also take years to years to improve. It varies.
Can The Ejection Fraction Be Reduced?
As we age, so are our hearts. The walls of the heart become thicker and lose their ability to contract and relax as efficiently as they should. But a low ejection fraction can indicate some form of heart damage, including:
- Cardiomyopathy – Cardiomyopathy is the heart muscle’s weakness due to the heart muscle’s thickening or enlargement. This prevents your heart from pumping blood normally.
- Heart Attack & Ischemic Heart Disease – A heart attack occurs when one or more arteries become blocked, which causes damage to the heart muscle. Coronary artery disease can narrow or clog the left and right arteries of the heart, making it difficult for blood to flow to the heart.
- Heart Valve Disease – This happens when one or more of your heart’s valves don’t open or close properly. This can stop blood flow through your heart and body: causing heart attack and ischemic heart disease. A heart attack occurs when one or more arteries become blocked, which causes damage to the heart muscle. Coronary artery disease can narrow or clog the left and right arteries of the heart, making it difficult for blood to flow to the heart.
- Heart Valve Disease – This happens when one or more of your heart’s valves don’t open or close properly. This can stop the flow of blood through your heart and body.
In general, the outlook is encouraging for people with abnormal ejection fractions. In most cases, with careful care, proper treatment and medication, and specific lifestyle changes, you can manage your symptoms and continue to lead a fulfilling life.