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G Ital Cardiol 2004;5(10 Suppl. 6):48S-54S

Diastolic heart failure

Maria Frigerio, Giovanni Aguggini

Diastolic heart failure is characterized by the presence of heart failure with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF): documentation of diastolic dysfunction, usually by Doppler echocardiography, is strongly recommended. Heart failure with preserved LVEF is a heterogeneous and common condition, especially in the elderly, among whom represents up to 50% of all heart failure patients. Mortality is generally lower than in patients with heart failure and low LVEF, and depends on etiology, patient conditions, and comorbidities. Anyway, morbidity is very high. So far, treatment of diastolic heart failure is empirical, and is aimed to maintain cardiac output, reduce filling pressure, control heart rate and rhythm, and antagonize disease progression with diuretics, inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, nitrates, and digoxin.

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