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    Heart Failure - Exams and Tests

    Heart failure is a complex problem. So you will likely have several different tests over time. These tests can:

    • Find out if you have heart failure.
    • Find the cause of your heart failure.
    • Find the type of heart failure you have.
    • Show how bad your heart failure is (class and stage).
    • See how well your treatment is working.

    If you have symptoms that suggest heart failure, you may have:

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    An echocardiogram is the best and simplest way to diagnose heart failure. It also can help guide treatment.

    Sometimes, because of a person's weight, breast size, or severe lung disease, an echocardiogram might not be accurate. If that happens, a cardiac blood pool scan may be done instead. It checks how well the left ventricle is pumping. But it's not as good at finding heart valve disease and a thick heart muscle.

    Tests also may be done to find areas of the heart that are not getting enough blood. These tests include:

    When you're taking medicine for heart failure, you may have regular blood tests to check how the medicine is working.

    More information

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: April 18, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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