Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath may be due to Heart Failure which refers to the heart failing to pump efficiently.


There include coronary artery narrowings, high blood pressure, viral infections, atrial fibrillation, and diseases affecting the valves of the heart.


The main symptoms are tiredness, breathlessness on exertion or lying flat, and ankle swelling. Fluid retention can occur in different parts of the body, including the lungs, abdomen, or ankles.

Investigations for Heart Failure:

Chest X-ray

Resting Electrocardiograph (ECG)

A Resting ECG at Cardiology Specialists is an electrical tracing of your heart. Electrodes are placed on the skin of your arms, legs and across chest to measure electrical activity of the heart. It gives information about heart rate, evidence of old heart attacks, thickening of heart muscle, or heartbeat problems such as extra (ectopic) beats or atrial fibrillation.


EchocardiographyEcho at Cardiology Specialists uses ultrasound to measure function of heart chambers and heart valves. Echo is also called Cardiac Ultrasound, which uses high frequency sound waves and is similar to a gall bladder or pregnancy ultrasound but is instead focused on the heart. Professor Hamid Ikram pioneered the introduction of Echo to Canterbury. At Cardiology Specialists, Echo is performed by a specially trained technician who moves a plastic transducer on the skin of the chest wall to obtain pictures of the heart chambers and valves. Echo (cardiac ultrasound) is useful for diagnosing weakened heart muscle, old heart attacks, heart valve narrowing or leaking, thickening of heart muscle, holes between heart chambers, or fluid in the sack around the heart.

Other test such as: Exercise ECG Test, 24 hour ambulatory Holter Monitor, Spirometry, and Coronary Angiography may be required.


You are likely to have several medications over time. These include medication to control the amount of fluid that builds up (diuretics), medication to help reduce the size of the heart and improve the heart function, and sometimes medications to control heart rate and thin your blood.