COMMENTARY: Review: Medical history, physical examination, and routine tests are useful for diagnosing heart failure in dyspnea

Wyer, Peter C.
March 2006
ACP Journal Club;Mar/Apr2006, Vol. 144 Issue 2, p49
Academic Journal
This article reports that patients with acute dyspnea present clinicians with an urgent and often difficult diagnostic challenge. The initial treatments for the alternative diagnoses differ and must usually be started before definitive test results are known. Researchers identified studies of reasonable quality evaluating the accuracy of the clinical findings and simple tests that most clinicians actually use to confirm or exclude heart failure (HF). Elements of the history of the present illness, previous history, and electrocardiographic findings are not as strong as radiographic findings for ruling in HF, while selected physical findings are of intermediate diagnostic strength.


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