Ejection fraction, or EF, is a measurement that indicates how well your heart is functioning. This number tracks how much blood your heart is pumping out with each contraction.
Your ejection fraction is described as a percentage. If you’re healthy, your ejection fraction is generally between 55% and 70%. For instance, an ejection fraction of 60% means your heart is pumping 60% of your blood out of your left ventricle (its main pumping chamber) every time your heart beats.
Low ejection fraction, sometimes called low EF, is the term we use to describe your ejection fraction if it falls below 55%. It means your heart isn’t functioning as well as it could. If a diagnostic test indicates that you have low ejection fraction, your doctor will want to thoroughly check you for a heart condition.
If you get to a 35% ejection fraction or below, you are at high risk of developing a dangerous arrhythmia and going into heart failure.
Many different heart and vascular diseases can lead to low ejection fraction, including:
As part of your diagnosis and treatment of low ejection fraction at Aurora Health Care, you can expect:
If you have two or more of the following symptoms, particularly if you already have a heart condition, check in with your health care provider:
Diagnosing low ejection fraction usually involves measuring the ejection fraction of the left ventricle (LVEF), a lower heart chamber that pumps blood to your entire body. (Your right ventricle pumps blood to your lungs.)
Your doctor may also use one or more of the following tests to complete a low ejection fraction diagnosis:
Learn more about heart and vascular testing and diagnosis at Aurora.
Your doctor will probably recommend that you make some healthy lifestyle changes, such as getting exercise, losing weight, quitting smoking and/or reducing salt or excess fluids. In addition, your doctor may recommend: