Hemodynamic and volume correlates of left ventricular diastolic relaxation and filling in patients with aortic stenosis

J L Vanoverschelde, B Essamri, X Michel, C Hanet, J R Cosyns, J M Detry, W Wijns
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 1992, 20 (4): 813-21

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the hemodynamic and volume correlates of early diastolic filling and isovolumetric relaxation in patients with aortic stenosis.

BACKGROUND: Left ventricular diastolic relaxation and filling have been found to be heterogeneous in patients with aortic stenosis. Potential mechanisms underlying this heterogeneity include individual differences in the severity of muscle hypertrophy or systolic dysfunction, or both, in the presence and severity of mitral regurgitation and in the level of left atrial pressure.

METHODS: Right (fluid-filled) and left (high fidelity micromanometer) ventricular pressures, left ventricular volumes (contrast angiography) and transmitral inflow dynamics (Doppler echocardiography) were measured in 17 patients with isolated severe aortic stenosis (valve area less than 0.75 cm2). Measurements included left ventricular end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes, left ventricular ejection fraction, peak positive and negative first derivative of left ventricular pressure (dP/dt), the time constant of isovolumetric relaxation (tau), left ventricular end-diastolic pressure, left ventricular mass, left ventricular end-systolic stress, mean capillary wedge pressure and peak early (E) and late (A) transmitral filling velocities. Patients were subclassified according to left ventricular ejection performance at rest and mean capillary wedge pressure.

RESULTS: Patients with normal ejection performance and normal mean capillary wedge pressure had a normal rate of isovolumetric left ventricular pressure decay and an abnormal diastolic filling pattern, with diastolic filling occurring primarily during atrial systole. In contrast, in patients with systolic dysfunction and elevated mean capillary wedge pressure, isovolumetric pressure decay was prolonged and diastolic filling occurred essentially during the rapid filling period, with reduced atrial contribution to left ventricular filling and a short isovolumetric relaxation period. Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis identified two variables as independent predictors of transmitral velocity profile and three variables independently predictive of the rate of left ventricular pressure decay. The single most important predictor of transmitral filling pattern was the pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (p less than 0.0001), followed by the left ventricular peak negative dP/dt (p = 0.002). The single most powerful predictor of the rate of reduction in left ventricular pressure was left ventricular mass index (p less than 0.0001), followed by end-systolic volume index (p = 0.0002) and left ventricular peak negative dP/dt (p = 0.0029).

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with aortic stenosis, left ventricular filling is essentially determined by left atrial pressure, whereas isovolumetric relaxation more closely depends on the severity of muscle hypertrophy and chamber dilation.

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