Clinical and research implications of new concepts in the assessment of cardiac pumping performance in heart failure

Cardiovasc Res. 1987 Aug;21(8):615-22. doi: 10.1093/cvr/21.8.615.


Every cardiac pump has its own maximum performance, which denotes its pumping capability. The difference between the performance in the resting state and that at maximum is called pumping reserve. Cardiac pumping performance is therefore best quantified by its hydraulic power output. Cardiac pumping capability is predictive of the ultimate prognosis of patients in severe heart failure whereas pumping reserve is a major determinant of exercise capacity. The therapeutic efficacy of cardiotonic drugs used in the treatment of ambulant heart failure patients should be evaluated with reference to the way they alter the relation between cardiac pumping reserve and exercise capacity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiotonic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Heart / physiopathology*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Heart Failure / rehabilitation
  • Heart Function Tests / methods*
  • Humans
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Physical Exertion / drug effects
  • Prognosis
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use


  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Vasodilator Agents