The role of echo-cardiography in the management of patients with congestive heart failure: “Tanzanian experience"
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Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a major public health problem that is associated with markedly diminished survival.1,2 The reported proportion of CHF patients with normal left ventricular systolic function has ranged from 13% to 75% and the reported annual mortality rate has varied from 1.3% to 17.5%.3 This implies that abnormal left ventricular diastolic function is the mechanism responsible for producing congestive symptoms in these patients.3 The approach to treatment may differ depending on whether systolic or diastolic dysfunction is predominant. Because clinical findings fail to distinguish patients with systolic or diastolic dysfunction/ several institutions recommend echocardiography in all patients with suspected congestive heart failure.5 Unfortunately, no data are available on use and outcome of patients studied with echocardiography, in the management of congestive heart failure in our region. Therefore, we prospectively assessed the relative proportions of normal versus impaired left ventricular systolic function among persons with CHF in a hospital based study sample and assessed the risks of mortality and heart failure re-admissions during follow up.