The end-diastolic pressure-volume (P-V) relationship (EDPVR) is routinely used to determine the passive left ventricular (LV) stiffness, although the diastatic P-V relationship (D-PVR) has also been measured. Based on the physiological difference between diastasis (the LV and atrium are relaxed and static) and end diastole (LV volume increased by atrial systole and the atrium is contracted), we hypothesized that, although both D-PVR and EDPVR include LV chamber stiffness information, they are two different, distinguishable P-V relations. Cardiac catheterization determined LV pressures, and conductance volumes in 31 subjects were analyzed. Physiological, beat-to-beat variation of the diastatic and end-diastolic P-V points were fit by linear and exponential functions to generate the D-PVR and EDPVR. The extrapolated exponential D-PVR underestimated LVEDP in 82% of the heart beats (P < 0.001). The extrapolated EDPVR overestimated pressure at diastasis in 84% of the heart beats (P < 0.001). If each subject's diastatic and end-diastolic P-V data were combined to form a continuous data set to be fit by one exponential relation, the goodness of fit was always worse than if the diastatic and end-diastolic data were grouped separately and fit by two distinct exponential relations. Diastatic chamber stiffness was less than EDPVR stiffness (defined by the slope of P-V relation) for all 31 subjects (0.16 +/- 0.11 vs. 0.24 +/- 0.15 mmHg/ml, P < 0.001). We conclude that the D-PVR and EDPVR are distinguishable. Because it is not coupled to a contracted atrium, the D-PVR conveys passive LV stiffness better than the EDPVR. Additional studies that fully elucidate the physiology and biology of diastasis in health and disease are in progress.