Left ventricular vortex formation is unaffected by diastolic impairment

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2012 Nov 15;303(10):H1255-62. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00093.2012. Epub 2012 Sep 7.


Normal left ventricular (LV) filling occurs rapidly early in diastole caused by a progressive pressure gradient within the ventricle and with a low left atrial pressure. This normal diastolic function is altered in patients with heart failure. Such impairment of diastolic filling is manifested as an abrupt deceleration of the early filling wave velocity. Although variations within the early filling wave have been observed previously, the underlying hydrodynamic mechanisms are not well understood. Previously, it was proposed that the mitral annulus vortex ring formation time was the total duration of early diastolic filling and provided a measure of the efficiency of diastolic filling. However, we found that the favorable LV pressure difference driving early diastolic filling becomes zero simultaneously with the deceleration of the early filling wave propagation velocity and pinch-off of the LV vortex ring. Thus we calculated the vortex ring formation time using the duration of the early diastolic filling wave from its initiation to the time of the early filling wave propagation velocity deceleration when pinch-off occurs. This formation time does not vary with decreasing intraventricular pressure difference or with degree of diastolic dysfunction. Thus we conclude the vortex ring pinch-off occurs before the completion of early diastole, and its formation time remains invariant to changes of diastolic function.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Diastole*
  • Echocardiography, Doppler, Color
  • Echocardiography, Doppler, Pulsed
  • Heart Failure / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve / diagnostic imaging
  • Mitral Valve / physiopathology
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Stroke Volume
  • Time Factors
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnostic imaging
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology*
  • Ventricular Function, Left*
  • Ventricular Pressure