Left ventricular pulsus alternans (LVPA), a rhythmic beat to beat variation in left ventricular systolic pressure and outflow gradient, was noted in 35 of 200 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy undergoing hemodynamic study. LVPA was not associated with significant systemic pulsus alternans nor right ventricular pulsus alternans. All patients with LVPA had severe outflow gradients at rest or during provocation. Of 61 patients with severe basal outflow gradients (greater than 80 mm Hg), 12 demonstrated LVPA at rest. Eight of these patients underwent ventricular septal myotomy-myectomy; all had successful abolition of basal outflow gradient. Of the seven of these eight patients who underwent postoperative hemodynamic study and who were in sinus rhythm, none demonstrated LVPA. Eleven of 60 patients with basal outflow gradients ranging from 10 to 70 mm Hg demonstrated LVPA during maneuvers provocative for outflow gradients (mean gradient 90 ± 37 mm Hg). Two of these patients underwent ventricular septal myotomy-myectomy; neither had a gradient nor LVPA during provocation postoperatively. Twelve additional patients with basal outflow gradients ranging from 0 to 115 mm Hg had LVPA after ectopic beats, generally occurring during maneuvers provocative for outflow gradients, associated with severe outflow gradients (mean gradient 130 ± 39 mm Hg) during the postextrasystolic beat. None of the 41 patients without an outflow gradient, basal or during provocation, was found to have LVPA. Thus LVPA is commonly seen in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and severe left ventricular outflow gradients and may represent inadequate left ventricular contractile function in the presence of high left ventricular systolic pressures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)