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What does my father's echo report indicate?

Q: My father is 52 years old. I have a doubt regarding his Echo report, which says 55%. What does it mean?

A:The figure 55% refers to left ventricular ejection fraction. Blood comes to the heart from the lungs during the relaxation period of heart, and when the heart contracts, blood is pumped into the body. However, it is not possible for the heart to pump 100% of the blood, as necessarily some small amount of blood would be left behind in the heart, even after maximum squeezing action. This is quite akin to impossibility of wringing a towel dry, no matter how strong one is. There is bound to be some amount of moisture and water left in the towel even after maximum squeezing. Similarly, the heart also cannot squeeze the last drop of blood out of it. So, the ejection fraction basically refers to the strength of the heart, as to what fraction of the blood coming from the lungs to the heart is ejected out of the heart in one beat. Normal ejection fraction is 60-70%, that is if 100 ml of blood comes from the lungs to the heart, 60-70 ml will be pumped forward. In your dad’s case, it is 55%, which is nearly normal and quite acceptable.


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