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      Assessment of Left Ventricular Contractile Performance from Isovolumic Relaxation Phase in Man



      S. Karger AG

      Relaxation, Cardiomyopathy, Contractility, Hypertension, Aortic valve disease, Left ventricular function

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          The rate of left ventricular (LV) pressure fall (dP/dtmin) is reportedly altered by contractility and LV stress. To explore the possibility that the ratio of dP/dtmin to dicrotic notch pressure (DTES) measures contractility, 243 subjects including 23 normals (group I) were studied. In 35 patients of group II (16 with mitral stenosis, 7 with atrial septal defect, and 12 with cor pulmonale) DTES, as an index of contractility (Cy Ix) measuring force-velocity-length relationship, was insignificantly different from group I (DTES and Cy Ix in group I = 21.6 ± 0.6 s-1 and 1.34 ± 0.04 muscle lengths/s/cm and 18.8 ± 1.8 s-1 and 1.55 ± 0.24 muscle lengths/s/cm in group II, respectively). With significantly reduced Cylx (1.05 ± 0.04, p < 0.01), DTES was likewise reduced (19.0 ± 0.5, p < 0.01) in 163 patients with compensated LV disease (47 with alcoholic cardiomyopathy, 24 coronary artery disease, 48 valve disease, 10 hypertensives and 34 with other heart muscle diseases). Like the Cy Ix (0.70 ± 0.05, p < 0.001), DTES was even lower (13.3 ± 0.6, p < 0.001) in 15 patients with decompensated LV (group IV). Like Cy Ix, this ratio changed significantly with acute changes in inotropy (exercise and pacing), but not with preload (dextran infusion). Basal heart rate, preload and afterload did not influence DTES. Furthermore, DTES correlated significantly in all groups and subgroups with two indices of contractility, VCE(velocity of contractile element) at peak isometric stress, and Cy Ix (r = 0.68 and 0.70, respectively, each p < 0.001) measured in this study. These results indicate that DTES provides a simple, reliable, and useful measure of the contractile state of LV myocardium in man, independent of preload and afterload.

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          Author and article information

          S. Karger AG
          07 November 2008
          : 68
          : 1
          : 1-18
          Department of Medicine, College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, N.J., USA
          173259 Cardiology 1981;68:1–18
          © 1981 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Pages: 18
          Original Paper


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