Problems with the left ventricle of the heart usually cause irregular heartbeat, fatigue, shortness of breath, edema and persistent cough, states Mayo Clinic. Ascites, loss of appetite, sudden weight gain and difficulty staying alert are additional symptoms. Heart failure often starts in the left ventricle; prompt medical attention is necessary.
Two types of heart dysfunction cause heart failure, according to the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center. Diastolic failure is one type that causes the heart muscle to become stiff and unable to relax properly. This makes it difficult for the heart chamber to fill with blood as it rests during each heartbeat cycle. The size of the left chamber of the heart can be reduced or normal in this case.
The second type of heart dysfunction is systolic failure, notes the UCSF Medical Center. This is the most common cause of heart failure. In this case, the left ventricle is unable to contract. Without proper contraction, the heart is unable to pump the amount of blood necessary for the body.
The heart's left ventricle is the primary source of pumping power, notes the American Heart Association. When the left ventricle fails, the heart must work harder to get the nutrient-rich blood to the body. Left-sided heart failure can lead to right-sided heart failure.