Postextrasystolic left ventricular isovolumic pressure decay is not monoexponential

Michael Courtois, Benico Barzilai, Andrew F. Hall, Philip A. Ludbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Objective: The relationship between the left ventricular (LV) relaxation time constant and early diastolic filling is not fully defined. This study provides additional evidence that LV isovolumic pressure fall in the normal intact heart in response to certain interventions is not adequately described by a model of monoexponential decay and that its relationship to filling is complex. Methods and results: To gain further insight into the relationship between LV relaxation and early rapid filling we measured LV isovolumic relaxation rate, peak early filling velocity (E) LV volumes, and transmitral pressures at baseline and in the first postextrasystolic beat after a short- coupled extrasystole in 9 anesthetized dogs. Postextrasystolic isovolumic relaxation rate was slowed as measured by 3 commonly used time constants, while E was increased 32% LV contractility and peak pressure were also increased, while LV end-systolic volume was decreased. LV minimum pressure was deceased, while the early diastolic transmitral pressure gradient was increased. Although all relaxation time constants measured over the entire isovolumic relaxation phase indicated slowed relaxation, direct measurement of isovolumic relaxation time indicated no change in relaxation rate. Calculation of the time constants and direct measurement of isovolumic relaxation time during early isovolumic pressure decay indicated slowed postextrasystolic pressure decay rate compared with baseline, while calculation of time constants and direct measurement of isovolumic relaxation time during late isovolumic relaxation indicated augmented postextrasystolic pressure decay rate versus baseline. Conclusions: This non-exponential behavior of LV isovolumic pressure decay in postextrasystolic beats after short-couples extrasystoles provides further evidence that the relationship that exists between ventricular relaxation and early filling is not simple. The results are interpreted in terms of current theoretical formulations that attribute control of myocardial relaxation to the interaction between inactivation-dependent and load-dependent mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-216
Number of pages11
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 1997

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