Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Abnormality In Filling Of Heart Is Frequent Culprit In Heart Failure

Date:
November 9, 2006
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Difficulties in the heart's ability to fill with blood are common causes of heart failure -- and appear to be as significant in placing a heart patient at risk of death as are deficiencies in the heart's ability to pump blood, new research from Mayo Clinic shows.

Difficulties in the heart's ability to fill with blood are common causes of heart failure -- and appear to be as significant in placing a heart patient at risk of death as are deficiencies in the heart's ability to pump blood, new research from Mayo Clinic shows.

As a result of these findings, heart failure -- a leading and urgent public health problem in the United States and elsewhere -- can likely be managed more effectively to identify and treat those at highest risk of dying from heart disease, the Mayo Clinic researchers say. Their report appears in the current Journal of the American Medical Association.

Significance of the Mayo Study

The Mayo study is the first large, community-based study to clarify the role of filling deficiencies -- known as diastolic dysfunction -- in heart failure. In the past, literature shows that heart failure is too often conceived as a pumping problem, known as systolic dysfunction. Systolic dysfunction is an inability to effectively move blood out of the heart. But to pump effectively, the heart also has to have a healthy filling phase.

"Our findings help support the growing understanding that heart failure is a disease with several faces -- and that's the first step to improving treatment," explains Mayo Clinic cardiologist Veronique Roger, M.D., M.P.H., the study's lead author. "Specifically, our results highlight the diverse nature of heart failure as a syndrome in which defects in both the pumping and the filling phases need to be considered for optimal patient management. It is not a case of one or the other."

To clarify the role of diastolic dysfunction in heart failure, Dr. Roger and colleagues recruited 556 patients with heart failure in Olmsted County, Minn., from 2003 to 2005. They tested both heart-pumping and heart-filling functions with Doppler echocardiography. This technique is a form of ultrasound based on the Doppler shift variation in sound wave frequency to determine normal and abnormal blood flow status in the heart. Results showed that of the 556 heart patients, 44 percent had filling abnormalities that had never before been detected. This means that a significant number of patients' heart problems had not been adequately described because the prevailing methods tested only for pumping problems -- not for filling problems. The researchers conclude that this finding suggests filling problems are frequently undiagnosed. To adequately evaluate most patients with heart failure, using tests that can evaluate filling problems is essential and can likely improve heart patient care.

Implications and Applications

The Mayo data suggest that physicians should test for abnormalities in the heart's filling phase, just as they are vigilant about detecting abnormalities in the pumping phase. Wider use of Doppler echocardiography to detect diastolic dysfunction could improve risk stratification and management of heart failure patients. While Doppler echocardiography is common practice, this testing to detect filling problems is not uniformly performed everywhere.

"Our results suggest that if you are a patient who has been diagnosed with heart failure, you should be evaluated for filling abnormalities," Dr. Roger says. "Whether the primary problem is a pumping or a filling defect, both can have a negative impact on survival and need to be managed."

Summary: Key Findings At A Glance

The Mayo Clinic study is important because it:

  • clarifies long-standing confusion over the role of diastolic dysfunction in heart failure. In the past, heart failure has generally been conceived as systolic dysfunction -- a pumping problem, with uncertainties about the role of filling deficiencies.
  • is the first community approach to the assessment of the role of diastolic dysfunction in heart failure. It therefore presents a more accurate portrait of heart failure risk in the general population, not just in a heart specialist's practice or hospital, as referral studies have done.
  • expands the concept of what heart failure is: a syndrome encompassing both filling and pumping phases, with multiple, diverse, causes -- and, therefore, multiple paths to treatment.
  • underscores the importance of new strategies to evaluate heart patients -- especially those whose pumping errors cannot be detected. By newly documenting the prevalence and risk of diastolic dysfunction in heart failure patients who show no signs of systolic dysfunction, results support wider use of Doppler echocardiography to detect diastolic dysfunction and improve treatment.

Collaboration and Support

Other Mayo Clinic researchers include: Francesca Bursi, M.D., M.Sc.; Susan Weston, M.S.; Margaret Redfield, M.D.; Steven Jacobsen, M.D., Ph.D.; Serguei Pakhomov, Ph.D.; Vuyisile Nkomo, M.D.; and Ryan Meverden. Their work was supported by grants from the U.S. Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Abnormality In Filling Of Heart Is Frequent Culprit In Heart Failure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061108154914.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2006, November 9). Abnormality In Filling Of Heart Is Frequent Culprit In Heart Failure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061108154914.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Abnormality In Filling Of Heart Is Frequent Culprit In Heart Failure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061108154914.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins