[ejection fracture]

Author: Keith Anderson (---.tamqfl1.dsl-verizon.net)

Date: 05-14-02 18:32

Does anyone know how Cardiomyopathy & SAM affect the ejecton fracture?

I am still trying to deal with this. What factors can we do to help reduce the disease from progressing?

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[Re: ejection fracture]

Author: Pat (---.d00832.dlup.digitaldune.net)

Date: 05-16-02 18:12

Keith,

I, like you, find information about this disease essential to helping me cope with it. My own EF is something like 90%; knowing this helps me whenever I ask my body to do something like climb stairs with some degree of speed and I'm suddenly short of breath!

I can answer parts of your question. The ejection fraction is the percentage of the heart chamber's fluid (blood) capacity which is forced out with the heart's contraction. As I remember from several years ago my cardiologist told me that the "normal" ejection fraction from a healthy left ventricle is between 25% & 75%. With dilated cardiomyopathy the EF will drop substantially--the ventricle is weakened and has difficulty pushing blood into circulation. With hypertrophic cardiomyopathy the EF will be much higher than normal--the ventricular muscle is so strong it pushes almost all the blood out with each beat. This means that there is very little reserve for sudden demands like running a sprint (or climbing stairs). So many of us with HCM do okay as long as we stay well hydrated and don't ask our hearts to cope with competitive athletics or other suddenly-demanding activities.

The only thing I understand about how SAM contributes to this process is that it partially blocks the outward flow of the blood from the left ventricle and the ventricular muscle contracts more forcefully to get the blood past the obstacle. I have assumed that years of this effort contribute to the hypertrophy--continued effort by any muscle makes it bigger.

From what I'm reading it seems that HCM is less likely to progress after adulthood. But, for adolescents and adults, drug treatment (primarily Toprol & Verapamil) slow the heart and decrease the force with which the ventricular muscle contracts, thus preventing progression of the hypertrophy.

I hope this helps answer your question, Keith--and that others have more information to contribute!

Pat

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[Re: ejection fracture]

Author: s. beckley -moderator (---.dsl.mindspring.com)

Date: 05-17-02 04:05

Dear Keith,

Taking excellent care of yourself with diet, lots of water, taking the appropriate medication and avoiding nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, drugs, and stimulants (decongestants, etc.) are the best ways of ensuring your heart's health. Reducing stress and avoiding weight-lifting, too.

"Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: For Patients, Their Families, and Interested Physicians" by Dr. Maron and Lisa is a great book on HCM. It is available through the HCMA office.

take care,

Sarah