Role of cardiac power in heart failure

Gad Cotter*, Simon G. Williams, Zvi Vered, Lip Bun Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The heart is a muscular mechanical pump with an ability to generate both flow (cardiac output) and pressure. The product of flow output and systemic arterial pressure is the rate of useful work done, or power output. Cardiac pumping capability can be defined as the cardiac power output (CPOmax) achieved by the heart during maximal stimulation. Cardiac reserve is the increase in power output as the cardiac performance is increased from the resting to the maximally stimulated state. Recently, several studies have shown that CPOmax, a direct indicator of overall cardiac function, measured directly or as an approximation, is a major determinant of exercise capacity and a most powerful predictor of prognosis for patients with chronic heart failure. The same holds true in acute heart failure, where it is also useful in subclassifying the conditions to select the appropriate treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-222
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac function
  • Cardiac power output
  • Cardiac reserve
  • Heart failure
  • Hemodynamics


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