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Am Heart J. 1995 Jul;130(1):153-66.

Mechanisms, diagnosis, and treatment of diastolic heart failure.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati, OH 45267-0542, USA.


Diastolic heart failure, in the absence of LV systolic dysfunction, is a common clinical condition that can be demonstrated in as many as one third of patients with congestive heart failure. Diastolic dysfunction caused by abnormalities in LV filling can be a result of many pathologic conditions, including hypertrophy, infiltrative cardiomyopathies, or myocardial ischemia. The major physiologic determinants of LV filling can be divided into cellular mechanisms, hemodynamic characteristics, and hormonal influences. Cellular mechanisms for impaired LV inactivation are determined by the handling of calcium within the myocyte during excitation-contraction-relaxation coupling. The hemodynamic characteristics of LV diastolic filling are determined by loading conditions, the time constant of isovolumic relaxation, heart rate, ventricular nonuniformity, pericardial restraint, myocardial elasticity, chamber compliance, and coronary blood flow. The sympathetic nervous system and the renin-angiotensin system are important modulators of diastolic filling, directly or indirectly. The diagnosis of heart failure is confirmed by a combination of clinical tests including invasive and noninvasive techniques, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. Treatment of medical conditions in which diastolic heart failure is a prominent component include pharmacotherapy with calcium channel antagonists, beta-adrenergic blocking agents, diuretic agents, and angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors. Certain conditions associated with diastolic filling abnormalities such as pericardial disease or severe ischemic heart disease may be best managed by surgical or percutaneous intervention. Future research will include further delineation of the cellular mechanisms of active myocardial relaxation and clinical investigation into treatment directed at improving outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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