Diagnosis and management of diastolic dysfunction and heart failure.
Diastolic heart failure occurs when signs and symptoms of heart failure are present but left ventricular systolic function is preserved (i.e., ejection fraction greater than 45 percent). The incidence of diastolic heart failure increases with age; therefore, 50 percent of older patients with heart failure may have isolated diastolic dysfunction. With early diagnosis and proper management the prognosis of diastolic dysfunction is more favorable than that of systolic dysfunction. Distinguishing diastolic from systolic heart failure is essential because the optimal therapy for one may aggravate the other. Although diastolic heart failure is clinically and radiographically indistinguishable from systolic heart failure, normal ejection fraction and abnormal diastolic function in the presence of symptoms and signs of heart failure confirm diastolic heart failure. The pharmacologic therapies of choice for diastolic heart failure are angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, diuretics, and beta blockers.
Am Fam Physician. 2006 Mar 1;73(5):841-6.