Systolic heart failure
Systolic heart failure is diagnosed when the echocardiogram shows not enough blood is being pumped by the heart. The amount of blood pumped is called the ejection fraction. If this is less than 50%, it is weak and results in systolic heart failure. After an injury, the heart cannot pump the amount of blood the body needs. The blood backs up into the lungs, causing shortness of breath, and/or backs up into other parts of the body, which causes swelling in the legs. These systolic heart failure symptoms are controlled with medications and a low-sodium diet.
Diastolic heart failure
Diastolic heart failure is diagnosed by an echocardiogram showing a stiff heart. In this case, the heart cannot relax, so it cannot properly fill with blood to circulate to the body. This causes increased pressure and blood to back up in the lungs, liver, legs and other areas of the body, causing symptoms of swelling, shortness of breath and the inability to tolerate activity. These diastolic heart failure symptoms can be controlled with medications and a low-sodium diet also.
Valvular heart failure
Valvular heart failure is caused by either a backward flow of blood, a leaky valve in your heart or a narrowing of the valve area through which blood can flow. These are both abnormalities of the heart valves. Valvular heart failure may cause the heart muscle to weaken and pump less effectively, and/or cause increased pressure in the lungs.