Influence of alteration in preload on the pattern of left ventricular diastolic filling as assessed by Doppler echocardiography in humans

M F Stoddard, A C Pearson, M J Kern, J Ratcliff, D G Mrosek, A J Labovitz
Circulation 1989, 79 (6): 1226-36
We examined the influence of alterations in preload on pulsed Doppler indexes of left ventricular diastolic function in 50 patients including 12 without cardiovascular disease, 29 with coronary artery disease, and nine with critical aortic stenosis. Micromanometer left ventricular pressure was recorded simultaneously with pulsed Doppler echocardiography of left ventricular inflow and M-mode echocardiography of left ventricular diameter. Chamber stiffness constants, kd and kv, were obtained from the diastolic pressure-diameter and pressure-volume relations, respectively. Relaxation was measured by the isovolumic relaxation time constants, TL and TD, derived from the exponential left ventricular pressure decay and maximum negative dP/dt. In 41 patients after nitroglycerin treatment, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure decreased from 18 +/- 5 to 13 +/- 4 mm Hg (p less than 0.001). The ratio of peak early to peak atrial filling velocities and time-velocity integral ratios decreased from 1.08 +/- 0.57 to 0.90 +/- 0.42 (p less than 0.001) and from 1.77 +/- 0.95 to 1.41 +/- 0.71 (p less than 0.001), respectively. The peak early filling velocity and time-velocity integral decreased from 56.1 +/- 15.7 to 49.9 +/- 14.5 cm/sec (p less than 0.001) and from 7.9 +/- 2.7 to 6.8 +/- 2.8 cm (p less than 0.001), respectively. Relaxation (TL, TD, and maximum negative dP/dt) and chamber stiffness (kd and kv) were not impaired after nitroglycerin administration. In 48 patients after ventriculography, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure increased from 18 +/- 6 to 22 +/- 8 mm Hg (p less than 0.001). The peak early and peak atrial filling velocities increased from 57.4 +/- 15.2 to 68.3 +/- 19.7 cm/sec (p less than 0.001) and from 61.0 +/- 22.7 to 69.4 +/- 23.2 cm/sec (p less than 0.01), respectively. As a result, the ratio of peak early to peak atrial filling velocity was unchanged. However, in the aortic stenosis group, the ratio of peak early to peak atrial filling velocity increased from 0.95 +/- 0.64 to 1.10 +/- 0.72 (p less than 0.02). Relaxation and chamber stiffness were unchanged. Thus, a reduction or increase in preload may induce a diastolic filling pattern that mimics or masks diastolic dysfunction, respectively. Preload conditions need to be accounted for when the status of diastolic function is extrapolated from the pulsed Doppler mitral inflow velocity profile.

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