NYMC Faculty Publications

The Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction: New Insights Into an Old Parameter

Journal Title

Hospital Practice

Document Type


Publication Date

October 2019




Accurate evaluation of cardiac function has become increasingly important as the treatment of cardiac disease has become more complex. At the same time, technological advances allow greater accuracy and precision in cardiac measurements. Measurement of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) has been a pillar of cardiac evaluation. Several non-invasive modalities are available to assess LVEF; each has advantages and limitations. This review examines various modalities used to measure LVEF and focuses on the relative strengths and weaknesses of each modality. In some clinical settings, however, LVEF may be too insensitive to convey subtle changes in LV contractility. This review also highlights clinical situations in which use of LVEF may be an insufficient measure of left ventricular systolic function. Global longitudinal strain is one such parameter that has shown promise for detecting subtle reductions in left ventricular contractility in subjects with chemotherapy induced cardiotoxicity.