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Diastolic heart failure in older people - myth or lost tribe?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Christopher Gray


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Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction occurs due to a variable combination of abnormal myocardial relaxation and reduced ventricular compliance. The diagnosis of diastolic congestive heart failure is controversial. Some studies suggest that up to one-third of older people with symptomatic congestive heart failure (CHF) have echocardiograph evidence of diastolic dysfunction. Other authors have suggested the comorbid diseases often found in persons with suspected diastolic CHF explain the patient's symptoms and hence diastolic CHF is a misdiagnosis in many cases. Many of the characteristic echo features of diastolic dysfunction occur in normal ageing hearts. Unlike in systolic CHF, evidence for disease modifying treatment is lacking. Clinical trials currently in progress to determine the effectiveness of ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor antagonists in the management of diastolic CHF may clarify the prognosis and management of this condition.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Baxter AJ, Gray CS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Medicine

Year: 2002

Volume: 2

Issue: 6

Pages: 539-543

ISSN (print): 1470-2118

ISSN (electronic): 1473-4893

Publisher: Royal College of Physicians