The human heart is the powerhouse of the body that pumps blood throughout the body via the vessels of the circulatory system, supplying oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and removing carbon dioxide and other wastes to sustain life. It beats (expands and contracts) 100,000 times per day, pumping approximately 2,000 gallons per day.
Blood is pumped out of the two lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart when it contracts. The ventricles are refilled with blood when your heart relaxes or expands. The amount of blood pumped out of a filled ventricle with each heartbeat is referred to as “ejection fraction,” and it indicates how well your heart’s left ventricle is functioning.
The major pumping chamber of the heart is the left ventricle. It transfers oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body through your main artery. An ejection fraction of 60% means that every time your heart beats, your heart pumps 60% of your blood out of your left ventricle. Generally, the standard ejection fraction range is between 55 and 70 percent. When your ejection fraction goes below 55 percent, you have low ejection fraction, also known as low EF. It indicates that your heart isn’t performing as efficiently as it should.
A low number can have serious consequences. You’re at risk of developing a serious arrythmia or possibly heart failure if your ejection fraction is less than 35 percent. Echo test is the best way to check how well your heart functions.
Low ejection fraction causes
The presence of a low ejection fraction is usually indicative of underlying cardiac disease. Low ejection fraction can be caused by various heart and vascular disorders, including:
Cardiomyopathy – A condition that causes your heart muscle to grow, thicken, or stiffen.
Coronary artery disease – It occurs when plaque forms in the two main arteries supplying blood to the heart, obstructing blood flow.
Heart attack– It occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is obstructed and damaged.
Heart valve disease occurs when one or more of your heart valves do not open and close as they should. Systolic heart failure occurs when the left ventricle of your heart cannot pump blood as strongly as it should.
Implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD), a device that provides mild electrical pulses to your heart to reestablish a healthy rhythm, particularly in the case of arrythmias, which cause your heart to stop breathing
Heart transplant when other treatments are unable to help dangerously low ejection fraction and severe heart problems