Evaluation of diastolic filling of the heart has been difficult because of its complexity and the numerous interrelated contributing factors. Previous determinations have depended on high-fidelity, invasive measurements of instantaneous pressure, volume, mass, and wall stress, which could not be done on a routine clinical basis. With the advent of Doppler echocardiography, intracardiac blood flow velocities can now be noninvasively assessed. For application of this technique to evaluation of diastolic function in patients with heart disease, it is necessary to understand what the Doppler-derived variables represent. It is also necessary to know how they are affected by changes in loading conditions and changes in myocardial relaxation. In this review, we provide an interpretation of the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, and systemic and pulmonary venous inflow velocities in the normal patient and in various disease states.