The ejection fraction is a measurement of the heart's efficiency and can be used to estimate the function of the left ventricle, which pumps blood to the rest of the body.
The left ventricle pumps only a fraction of the blood it contains. The ejection fraction is the amount of blood pumped divided by the amount of blood the ventricle contains. A normal ejection fraction is more than 55% of the blood volume. If the heart becomes enlarged, even if the amount of blood being pumped by the left ventricle remains the same, the relative fraction of blood being ejected decreases. For example:
- A healthy heart with a total blood volume of 100 mL that pumps 60 mL to the aorta has an ejection fraction of 60%.
- A heart with an enlarged left ventricle that has a total blood volume of 140 mL and pumps the same amount (60 mL) to the aorta has an ejection fraction of 43%.
Current as of: February 20, 2015
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
Public Health Alerts
Public health alerts include information about outbreaks, advisories and product recalls. Click on the links below to read the most recent alerts, or visit our Public Health Alerts web page.
Want More Information?
HealthLink BC, your provincial health line, is as close as your phone or the web any time of the day or night, every day of the year.
Call 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C. or for deaf and hearing-impaired, call 7-1-1.
You can speak with a health service representative, who can also connect you with a:
- registered nurse any time, every day of the year;
- registered dietitian from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday;
- pharmacist from 5pm to 9am, every day of the year.
Translation services are available in more than 130 languages.
FIND Services and Resources
If you are looking for health services in your community, you can use our directory to FIND hospitals, clinics, and other resources.
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Is it an emergency?
If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.