Left Ventricular Dysfunction

Left Ventricular Dysfunction

Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

Abbreviation: LVD.

LVD is condition in which the left ventricle of the heart functionally impaired. This condition usually leads to heart failure; myocardial infarction; and other cardiovascular complications.

Types: Left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) and left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD).

LVSD is when the heart is unable to pump out as much blood as a normal heart would be able to do, causing the heart to contract less forcefully. This causes more blood to remain in the lower heart chamber (ventricles). The blood accumulates in the veins, lungs or in some cases both.

LVDD is when the heart loses its ability to relax, as a normal heart would be able to. When this condition happens, the heart is unable to fill with blood. Sometimes this causes the heart to over compensate by pumping out a higher volume of blood than a normal heart would. The blood accumulates in the lungs and veins.

Causes and Risk Factors:

    HBP (high blood pressure).

  • Left ventricular muscle hypertrophy.

  • Heart valve disorders such as stenosis of a valve.

  • CHD (coronary heart disease) that reduces oxygen-rich blood flow to the heart muscle.

  • Myocarditis caused by a virus, bacteria or other infection.

  • Some Lung Disorders such as PH (pulmonary hypertension).

  • Prolonged changes in heart rhythms that interfere with the electrical conduction system.

  • Several small blood clots or a pulmonary embolism.

  • Diabetes.

  • Anemia due to causes such as chronic bleeding from stomach ulcers.

  • Hyperthyroidism because it causes the heart to become over stimulated.

  • Hypothyroidism because less thyroid hormone is produced, causing weakening of the heart muscles. Muscles depend on this hormone to function properly.


    Shortness of breath (SOB).

  • Feeling tired and weak.

  • Bluish skin.

  • Feeling of anxiety and restlessness.

  • Wheezing.

It is very important for people who have been diagnosed with LVD to follow up with their physician, and report any new symptoms that may arise.


Identification of patients with LVSD and LVDD is a challenge for family physicians. Around half of all patients suspected of having LVSD and LVDD when assessed in primary care do not have this diagnosis confirmed on echocardiography.Echocardiography is the key investigation in the diagnosis of LVSD, but there is a need to develop a clinical prediction rule (CPR) that is based on clinical findings and diagnostic tests.Implementation of such a rule would help GPs prioritize patients and improve onward referral of patients to limited echocardiography services.

Investigations Include:

    Electrocardiogram (ECG)

  • Chest x-ray (CXR).

  • Echocardiograph.


If a patient has been diagnosed with the presence of LVD, he or she ought to perform some changes in their lifestyle. These lifestyle changes include a proper healthy diet and an exercise program.

    The person would need to stop smoking and drinking alcohol.

  • The individual should reduce his or her daily intake of salt as much as they can, as the consumption of salty products may worsen the patient's condition.

  • The individual should also avoid the intake of excessive amounts of fluids, as this is known to increase the patient's blood pressure and worsen the patient's medical condition.

  • Obesity is a powerful enemy in the body of those who have been diagnosed with the presence of this medical condition. All patients have to start losing weight. For this reason, it is important to start setting realistic targets in order to reduce the individual's body weight. This process is known to require nutritional advice from a specialist and regular counseling sessions. This is very important for all patients who are suffering from Left Ventricular Dysfunction.

Medical treatment will be based on the underlying causes.

Disclaimer: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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