Cardiac Electrophysiology Consultants of South Texas, P.A.

Medical Center Tower I
7950 Floyd Curl Drive
Suite 803
San Antonio, TX 78229
tel: 210-615-9500
fax: 210-615-9600
email: office at
Specializing in the compassionate care of people who suffer from abnormalities of the electrical system of the heart Current Insurance Plans: We accept most major commercial insurance plans. Please call for details.
Medicare: We have opted out of Medicare, and are happy to care for Medicare beneficiaries on an affordable cash basis. Note: Federal law prohibits signing the Federally-mandated opt-out contract with a Medicare beneficiary who is in an emergency situation.
No insurance? No problem! Consider our affordable Fee for service (direct pay).
Home of the Original Personalized Medical Office SystemTM released April 5, 2013

General information about the heart for patients, their family members, and concerned laymen

  Left Ventricular Function Section Contents
Measurement of Left Ventricular Function with Nuclear Medicine and Echocardiography
The left ventricle is the most important of the four chambers in the heart because it generates the pressure needed to circulate blood throughout the body (except for the lungs, whose blood flow is generated primarily by the right ventricle). In addition, poor function of the left ventricle can be the indirect cause of other problems such as certain abnormal heart rhythms and stroke. Because the left ventricle is needed to sustain life, its function is often measured to assess the risk of various kinds of surgery, to determine the need to medicines that can help it pump better, and to determine a person's susceptibility to other medical problems. There are two noninvasive ways to measure how well the left ventricle works.

Nuclear ventriculography
The first noninvasive way to measure left ventricular function is called nuclear ventriculography. This method involves injection of inject a radioactive material with a short half-life into the bloodstream. This material binds to red blood cells. A camera that can "see" radioactivity is placed near the heart to measure the amount of radioactivity that is inside the heart at the beginning and the end of every heart beat. From these measurements, an "ejection fraction" is calculated by dividing the amount of blood pumped out of the heart by the amount of blood in the heart just before pumping begins.

Echocardiography for Left Ventricular Function
The second noninvasive way to look at the left ventricular wall motion is with echocardiography. This method requires more skill because of the complex geometry of the heart, and its results aren't as accurate numerically. However, it gives more precise information about which parts of the left ventricular wall are working and which are not. This information can be helpful in assessing disease in the coronary artery stenoses, and in planning other types of therapy. For example, anticoagulation with heparin and then coumadin is often given for moderate-sized to large myocardial infarctions that involve the anterior wall of the left ventricle, but not for infarctions of the same size that involve only the inferior wall.

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