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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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    Understanding Heart Failure -- Symptoms

    The symptoms of heart failure can be related to the pooling of fluid in the body or can be secondary to decreased blood flow to the body. Some people with heart failure don't experience symptoms, but here are some of the more common signs: Shortness of breath with exercise or difficulty breathing at rest or when lying down Swollen legs, ankles, or abdomen Dry, hacking cough, or wheezing Other symptoms may include: Fatigue, palpitations, or pain during normal activities ...

    Read the Understanding Heart Failure -- Symptoms article > >

    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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