Analysis of the early transmitral doppler velocity curve: Effect of primary physiologic changes and compensatory preload adjustment

James D. Thomas*, Christopher Y P Choong, Frank A. Flachskampf, Arthur E. Weyman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Left ventricular filling (as assessed by Doppler echocardiography) has previously been shown to depend in a complex fashion on ventricular diastolic function (compliance and relaxation) as well as other variables, such as atrial pressure and compliance, ventricular systolic function and mitral valve impedance. To study the effect of isolated physiologic alterations on individual Doppler indexes, a mathematic model of mitral flow was analyzed. By varying one physiologic variable at a time, it was shown that mitral velocity acceleration is affected directly by atrial pressure and inversely by the ventricular relaxation tune constant, with relatively little impact of chamber compliance. Deceleration rate was directly influenced by mitral valve area, atrial pressure and ventricular systolic dysfunction and inversely affected by atrial and ventricular compliance relations, with little impact of relaxation unless it was so delayed as to be incomplete during deceleration. Peak velocity was directly affected most strongly by initial left atrial pressure, and lowered somewhat by prolonged relaxation, low atrial and ventricular compliance and systolic dysfunction. Strikingly different filling patterns emerged when the primary physiologic alterations were accompanied by simultaneous compensatory changes in atraal pressure designed to maintain stroke volume constant. Low ventricular compliance with preload compensation produced characteristic E waves with very short acceleration and deceleration times and high peak velocity. Thus, mathematic analysis of ventricular filling helps to explain the physical and physiologic basis for the transmitral velocity curve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-655
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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