Noninvasive estimation of the instantaneous first derivative of left ventricular pressure using continuous-wave Doppler echocardiography

Chunguang Chen, Leonardo Rodriguez, J. Luis Guerrero, Shane Marshall, Robert A. Levine, Arthur E. Weyman, James D. Thomas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Background. The complete continuous-wave Doppler mitral regurgitant velocity curve should allow reconstruction of the ventriculoatrial (VA) pressure gradient from mitral valve closure to opening, including left ventricular (LV) isovolumic contraction, ejection, and isovolumic relaxation. Assuming that the left atrial pressure fluctuation is relatively minor in comparison with the corresponding LV pressure changes during systole, the first derivative of the Doppler-derived VA pressure gradient curve (Doppler dP/dt) might be used to estimate the LV dP/dt curve, previously measurable only at catheterization (catheter dP/dt). Methods and Results. This hypothesis was examined in an in vivo mitral regurgitant model during 30 hemodynamic stages in eight dogs. Contractility and relaxation were altered by inotropic stimulation and hypothermia. The Doppler mitral regurgitant velocity spectrum was recorded along with simultaneously acquired micromanometer LV and left atrial pressures. The regurgitant velocity profiles were digitized and converted to VA pressure gradient curves using the simplified Bernoulli equation. The instantaneous dP/dt of the VA pressure gradient curve was then derived. The instantaneous Doppler-derived VA pressure gradients, instantaneous Doppler dP/dt, dP/dmax, and -dP/dtmax were compared with corresponding catheter measurements. This method of estimating dP/dtmax from the instantaneous dP/dt curve was also compared with a previously proposed Doppler method of estimating dP/dtmax using the Doppler-derived mean rate of LV pressure rise over the time period between velocities of 1 and 3 m/sec on the ascending slope of the Doppler velocity spectrum. Both instantaneous Doppler-derived VA pressure gradients (r=0.95, p<0.0001) and Doppler dP/dt (r=0.92, p<0.0001) correlated well with corresponding measurements by catheter during systolic contraction and isovolumic relaxation (pooled data). The Doppler dP/dtmax (1,266±701 mm Hg/sec) also correlated well (r=0.94) with the catheter dP/dtmax (1,200±573 mm Hg/sec). There was no difference between the two methods for measurement of dP/dtmax (p=NS). Although Doppler -dP/dtmax was slightly lower than the catheter measurement (961±511 versus 1,057±540 mm Hg/sec, p<0.01), the correlation between measurements by Doppler and catheter was excellent (r=0.93, p<0.0001). The alternative method of mean isovolumic pressure rise (896±465 mm Hg/sec) underestimated the catheter dP/dtmax (1,200±573 mm Hg/sec) significantly (on average, 25%; p<0.001). Conclusions. The present study demonstrated an accurate and reliable noninvasive Doppler method for estimating instantaneous LV dP/dt, dP/dtmax, and -dP/dtmax.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2101-2110
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1991


  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Left ventricular dP/dt
  • Left ventricular function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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