Heart Failure Reviews

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 337–344

Beneficial Effects of Nitric Oxide on Cardiac Diastolic Function: 'The Flip Side of the Coin'

  • Walter J. Paulus

DOI: 10.1023/A:1026511229882

Cite this article as:
Paulus, W.J. Heart Fail Rev (2000) 5: 337. doi:10.1023/A:1026511229882


Modulation by NO of systolic myocardial function received widespread attention but most studies focused on potential negative inotropic properties of NO. The very original observations on the effects of NO on myocardial contraction already provided evidence that NO modified myocardial contractile performance mainly through a relaxation-hastening effect (i.e. earlier onset of relaxation) and through an increase in myocardial distensibility. The present review discusses the relaxation hastening and distensibility-increasing effects of NO in experimental preparations, in the normal human heart, in left ventricular hypertrophy of aortic stenosis, in the human allograft and in dilated nonischemic cardiomyopathy. This 'diastolic flip side' of the myocardial effects of NO appears to be beneficial especially for patients who are dependent on the LV Frank-Starling response to maintain cardiac output.

nitric oxidediastolemyocardiumnitric oxide synthasecytokines

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter J. Paulus
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiovascular CenterO.L.V. ZiekenhuisAalstBelgium