The transmitral Doppler E-wave "delayed relaxation" (DR) pattern is an established sign of diastolic dysfunction (DD). Furthermore, chambers exhibiting a DR filling pattern are also expected to have a prolonged time-constant of isovolumic relaxation (τ). The simultaneous observation of a DR pattern and normal τ in the same heart is not uncommon, however. The simultaneous hemodynamic equivalent of the DR pattern has not been proposed. To determine the feature of the left ventricular (LV) pressure contour during the E-wave that is causally related to its DR pattern we applied kinematic and fluid mechanics based arguments to derive the pressure recovery ratio (PRR). The PRR is dimensionless and is defined by the left ventricular pressure difference between diastasis and minimum pressure, normalized to the pressure difference between a fiducial diastolic filling pressure and minimum pressure [PRR=(PDiastasis-PMin)/(PFiducial-PMin)]. We analyzed 354 cardiac cycles from 40 normal sinus rhythm (NSR) subjects and 113 beats from nine atrial fibrillation (AF) subjects from our database of simultaneous transmitral flow-micromanometric LV pressure recordings. The fiducial pressure is defined by the end diastolic pressure in NSR and by the pressure at dP/dtMIN in the setting of AF. Consistent with derivation, PRR was linearly related to a DR pattern related, model-based relaxation parameter (R2 = 0.77, 0.83 in NSR and AF, respectively). Furthermore, the PRR successfully differentiated subjects with a DR pattern from subjects with partial DR or normal E-wave pattern (p < 0.05). We conclude that the PRR may differentiate between subjects having a DR pattern and subjects with normal E-waves, even when τ cannot. (E-mail: sjk@wuphys.wustl.edu).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-511
Number of pages15
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Delayed relaxation
  • Diastolic function
  • Echocardiography
  • LV relaxation


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