, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 65-79
Date: 05 Aug 2010

Diastology 2010: clinical approach to diastolic heart failure

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Abstract

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.