Diastolic function in healthy humans: non-invasive assessment and the impact of acute and chronic exercise

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Jan;108(1):1-14. doi: 10.1007/s00421-009-1233-0. Epub 2009 Oct 2.


Left ventricular (LV) diastolic function is important because the enhanced systolic function that underpins high levels of cardio-respiratory fitness has to be matched by changes in LV filling, and LV diastolic dysfunction plays a key early role in the development and progression of a myriad of cardiovascular diseases. This review serves to detail knowledge in relation to: (1) the definition of diastole and the mechanical processes that occur during the diastolic period, (2) the quantitative assessment of diastolic function, predominantly focusing on non-invasive echocardiographic imaging modes such as tissue Doppler imaging and deformation analysis, (3) the impact of acute aerobic exercise on diastolic function, from the augmentation of function necessary to meet the demand for an increased cardiac output at exercise onset, to current concerns related to the impact of prolonged or ultra-endurance activity on diastolic function during recovery, (4) the adaptation in diastolic function observed with chronic aerobic exercise training in athletes and sedentary individuals who undergo training programmes, and (5) directions for future research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Athletes / psychology*
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Diastole / physiology
  • Echocardiography
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness
  • Stroke Volume / physiology
  • Swimming
  • Time Factors
  • Torsion Abnormality
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology*