Common Tests for Heart Failure

Updated:Apr 15,2013

To determine whether you have heart failure, your healthcare team may do some or all of these diagnostic tests and procedures.

Common tests for heart failure

How it's done:

  • You'll be asked about your medical history and symptoms. Usually you have to fill out forms with this information before your examination. The doctor or a healthcare assistant may ask you the questions again during the exam.
  • Your blood pressure will be taken.
  • You'll be weighed.
  • A healthcare professional will listen to your heart and lungs using a stethoscope.
  • The physical exam is generally painless.
Tips for success:
  • Don't be afraid to "look bad." For instance, if you smoke, eat a lot of high-fat foods or are physically inactive, be honest. That information helps determine your risk for heart failure.
  • Your doctor can't make an accurate diagnosis without full input from you. Think of your healthcare providers as your partners — you have to work together to be successful.
  • Follow all instructions for preparing for your exam. You may be told not to eat or drink anything for a certain amount of time before your appointment.
  • Bring all your medications or a list of all your medications to your appointment. That includes over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements as well as prescriptions.





"This content was last reviewed on 08/20/2012."

Heart Failure Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Questions to ask your doctor

Use these questions to ask your doctor about heart failure.


Heart Failure

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