Estimation of diastolic intraventricular pressure gradients by Doppler M-mode echocardiography

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2001 Jun;280(6):H2507-15. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.2001.280.6.H2507.


Previous studies have shown that small intraventricular pressure gradients (IVPG) are important for efficient filling of the left ventricle (LV) and as a sensitive marker for ischemia. Unfortunately, there has previously been no way of measuring these noninvasively, severely limiting their research and clinical utility. Color Doppler M-mode (CMM) echocardiography provides a spatiotemporal velocity distribution along the inflow tract throughout diastole, which we hypothesized would allow direct estimation of IVPG by using the Euler equation. Digital CMM images, obtained simultaneously with intracardiac pressure waveforms in six dogs, were processed by numerical differentiation for the Euler equation, then integrated to estimate IVPG and the total (left atrial to left ventricular apex) pressure drop. CMM-derived estimates agreed well with invasive measurements (IVPG: y = 0.87x + 0.22, r = 0.96, P < 0.001, standard error of the estimate = 0.35 mmHg). Quantitative processing of CMM data allows accurate estimation of IVPG and tracking of changes induced by beta-adrenergic stimulation. This novel approach provides unique information on LV filling dynamics in an entirely noninvasive way that has previously not been available for assessment of diastolic filling and function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Cardiotonic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Computer Simulation
  • Diastole / physiology*
  • Dogs
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Isoproterenol / administration & dosage
  • Linear Models
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Ventricular Function, Left / drug effects
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology*


  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Isoproterenol