Duration of diastole and its phases as a function of heart rate during supine bicycle exercise

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2004 Nov;287(5):H2003-8. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00404.2004. Epub 2004 Jun 24.


The duration of diastole can be defined in terms of mechanical events. Mechanical diastolic duration (MDD) is comprised by the phases of early rapid filling (E wave), diastasis, and late atrial filling (A wave). The effect of heart rate (HR) on diastolic duration is predictable from kinematic modeling and known cellular physiology. To determine the dependence of MDD of each phase and the velocity time integral (VTI) on HR, simultaneous transmitral Doppler flow velocities and ECG were recorded during supine bicycle exercise in healthy volunteers. Durations, peak values, and VTI using triangular approximation for E- and A-wave shape were measured. MDD, defined as the interval from the start of the E wave to end of the A wave, was fit as an algebraic function of HR by MDD=BMDD + MLMDD.HR + MIMDD/HR, derivable from first principles, where BMDD is a constant, and MLMDD and MIMDD are the constant coefficients of the linear and inverse HR dependent terms. Excellent correlation was observed (r2=0.98). E- and A-wave durations were found to be very nearly independent of HR: 100% increase in HR generated only an 18% decrease in E-wave duration and 16% decrease in A-wave duration. VTI was similarly very nearly independent of HR. Diastasis duration closely tracked MDD as a function of HR. We conclude that the elimination of diastasis and merging of E and A waves of nearly fixed durations primarily govern changes in MDD. These observations support the perspective that E- and A-wave durations are primarily governed by the rules of mechanical oscillation that are minimally HR dependent.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bicycling / physiology*
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Coronary Circulation
  • Diastole
  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Atria
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Supine Position*
  • Time Factors