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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1998 Sep;85(3):817-23.

Pulse pressure response to the strain of the valsalva maneuver in humans with preserved systolic function.

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  • 1Service de Physiologie Cardio-Respiratoire, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Bicêtre-Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, 94 275 Le Kremlin-Bicêtre Cédex, France.


Arterial pulse pressure response during the strain phase of the Valsalva maneuver has been proposed as a clinical tool for the diagnosis of left heart failure, whereas responses of subjects with preserved systolic function have been poorly documented. We studied the relationship between the aortic pulse amplitude ratio (i.e., minimum/maximum pulse pressure) during the strain phase of the Valsalva maneuver and cardiac hemodynamics at baseline in 20 adults (42 +/- 14 yr) undergoing routine right and left heart catheterization. They were normal subjects (n = 5) and patients with various forms of cardiac diseases (n = 15), and all had a left ventricular ejection fraction >/=40%. High-fidelity pressures were recorded in the right atrium and the left ventricle at baseline and at the aortic root throughout the Valsalva maneuver. Aortic pulse amplitude ratio 1) did not correlate with baseline left ventricular end-diastolic pressure, cardiac index (thermodilution), or left ventricular ejection fraction (cineangiography) and 2) was positively related to total arterial compliance (area method) (r = 0.59) and to basal mean right atrial pressure (r = 0.57) (each P < 0.01). Aortic pulse pressure responses to the strain were not related to heart rate responses during the maneuver. In subjects with preserved systolic function, the aortic pulse amplitude ratio during the strain phase of the Valsalva maneuver relates to baseline total arterial compliance and right heart filling pressures but not to left ventricular function.

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