Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Failing Heart Evaluation

The evaluation of congestive heart failure begins with a medical history and physical examination.

Physical findings in those with congestive heart failure may include:

Less common findings in those with congestive heart failure include:

Testing is usually required to confirm the diagnosis of congestive heart failure and to determine the underlying cause.

Tests that may be used to evaluate congestive heart failure include:

Less commonly performed tests that may be used to evaluate congestive heart failure include:
  • MRI scan of the heart:
    • Shows detailed images of the heart and coronary arteries
    • Detects structural abnormalities of the heart
  • SPECT scanning of the heart:
    • Detects blood flow abnormalities to heart muscle
  • Coronary artery CT scanning:
    • Checks for possible obstructions in the coronary arteries
    • Can show a build-up of calcium in a coronary artery

Continue to Failing Heart Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Failing Heart References
  1. Bibbins-Domingo K, Lin F, Vittinghoff E, Barrett-Connor E, Hulley SB, Grady D, Shlipak MG. Predictors of heart failure among women with coronary disease. Circulation. 2004 Sep 14;110(11):1424-30. [1535349]
  2. Chen QM, Tu VC. Apoptosis and heart failure: mechanisms and therapeutic implications. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2002;2(1):43-57. [14727998]
  3. Ebinger MW, Krishnan S, Schuger CD. Mechanisms of ventricular arrhythmias in heart failure. Curr Heart Fail Rep. 2005 Sep;2(3):111-7. [16138946]
  4. Mitchell J, Taylor A. Congestive heart failure in women. J Fam Pract. 2005 Jul;Suppl:6-7. [16134558]
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