We evaluated the characteristics of left ventricular diastolic hemodynamics in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) by measuring left ventricular inflow (LVIF) and pulmonary venous flow (PVF) velocities in 62 patients with asymmetric septal hypertrophy and 34 normal controls. The patients were divided into four groups according to the LVIF pattern and left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP): 1) the pseudonormalization group; 13 patients with the ratio of peak atrial systolic (A) to early diastolic (E) LVIF velocity (A/E) < or = 1 and LVEDP > or = 15 mm Hg, 2) the normal pattern group; 10 patients with the A/E < or = 1 and LVEDP < 15 mm Hg, 3) the relaxation failure group; 25 patients with the A/E > 1, and 4) the mid-diastolic wave group; 14 patients with a mid-diastolic wave. The peak early diastolic LVIF velocities in the pseudonormalization, relaxation failure and mid-diastolic wave groups were significantly smaller than in the control group. The deceleration time from the peak of the E wave and the isovolumic relaxation time were significantly prolonged in the relaxation failure and mid-diastolic wave groups. The peak diastolic PVF velocity in the relaxation failure and mid-diastolic wave groups was significantly decreased, and was significantly increased in the pseudonormalization group. The peak atrial systolic PVF velocity was significantly increased in all patients with HCM, particularly in the pseudonormalization group. LVEDP was the highest in the pseudonormalization group, followed by the mid-diastolic wave, relaxation failure and normal pattern groups, in that order. In conclusion, combined analysis of the LVIF and PVF provides useful information regarding various abnormalities of left ventricular diastolic hemodynamics in patients with HCM.