Chapter

Investigation of patients with suspected chronic heart failure

Ninian N. Lang and David E. Newby

in Chronic Heart Failure

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199542338
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199607174 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199542338.003.0003

Series: Oxford Cardiology Library

Investigation of patients with suspected chronic heart failure

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• Heart failure may be suspected on the basis of symptoms and signs but requires the use of objective tests to confirm the diagnosis. • As well as confirming the diagnosis, the assessment of patients with suspected heart failure should also define its severity, aetiology, and any precipitants of decompensation. • The electrocardiogram has powerful negative predictive value in patients with suspected heart failure, whilst the measurement of atrial or brain natriuretic peptides is gaining favour as a ‘rule-out’ blood test. • The echocardiogram remains the most important first-line test in patients with suspected heart failure although other imaging modalities are often indicated, including cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and cardiac catheterisation.

Chapter.  3260 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine

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