Review Article

Journal of Echocardiography

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 65-79

First online:

Diastology 2010: clinical approach to diastolic heart failure

  • Hirotsugu YamadaAffiliated withDepartment of Cardiovascular Medicine, Institute of Health Bioscience Research, The University of Tokushima Graduate School of Medicine
  • , Allan L. KleinAffiliated withDepartment of Cardiovascular Imaging, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic Email author 

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The role of echocardiography in the evaluation of left ventricular diastolic function is increasingly important in both systolic and diastolic heart failure. In routine clinical practice, the diastolic dysfunction associated with diastolic heart failure can mainly be evaluated by Doppler echocardiography. In order to use echocardiographic techniques for this purpose, one should recognize the definition, terminology, epidemiology, and pathophysiology of diastolic dysfunction and diastolic heart failure. There are various echocardiographic parameters for this purpose, including transmitral flow velocity, pulmonary venous flow velocity, mitral annular velocity, flow propagation velocity, left atrial size, strain, strain rate, twist, and so on. However, no single Doppler echocardiographic index has yielded a robust criterion for diastolic dysfunction and elevated left ventricular filling pressure. Thus, multiple indices are required to increase the sensitivity of the diagnosis. Clinicians who take care of heart failure patients should continue to make critical use of a current Doppler echocardiographic evaluation and utilize this information to improve survival and quality of life in these patients.


Diastole Heart failure Echocardiography Tissue Doppler LV filling pressures Prognosis