Talk to a healthcare professional if you or a family member have any of the potential signs of heart failure, such as shortness of breath, persistent coughing or wheezing, Buildup of excess fluid in body tissues (edema), fatigue, lack of appetite or nausea, impaired thinking, or an increased heart rate.
Your doctor will order tests and procedures to help determine the nature of the problem with the heart's larger lower chambers, the ventricles. These chambers may have lost some of their power to pump blood to the body or relax and fill with blood. The doctor uses your test results to determine whether you have heart failure, the degree of severity, and what treatments would be most effective (View an animation of heart failure).
This content was last reviewed on 08/20/2012.