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Clin Res Cardiol. 2007 Dec;96(12):874-82. Epub 2007 Sep 20.

Isolated diastolic dysfunction--diagnostic value of tissue Doppler imaging, colour M-mode and N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide.

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  • 1Martin-Luther-University, Halle-Wittenberg, Department of Medicine III, Ernst-Grube-Str. 40, 06097, Halle/Saale, Germany. stefan.hettwer@medizin.uni-halle.de



For diagnosis of diastolic dysfunction of the left ventricle (DDF), measurement of relaxation velocity (V(R)) by tissue Doppler imaging (V(R)), flow propagation velocity of transmitral inflow (v(p)) as well as the measurement of serum levels of N-terminal pro b-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) compete with the standard echocardiographic DDF-measures because of several disadvantages of the latter.


We examined the diagnostic value of method 1, 2 and NT-proBNP in 120 patients with echocardiographic-proven DDF and in 20 patients without. Patients were classified according to the DDF-stage by standard echocardiographic parameters (transmitral E/A-ratio, deceleration time, isovolumetric relaxation time) into stage I, II and III and furthermore subdivided by the presence of dyspnoea.


V(R) and v(p) were significantly lower in patients with DDF than in patients without DDF, with no difference between the various DDF stages. Symptomatic patients showed a trend to a lower V(R). NT-proBNP was elevated in patients with DDF: Symptomatic patients with a DDF at stage I and patients with a DDF at stage II and III independent of the presence of symptoms had elevated NT-proBNP levels.


All three methods tested identified patients with DDF. NT-proBNP and v(p) were able to discriminate between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.

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