Objectives. This study was designed to determine the usefulness of transthoracic Doppler measurements in detecting increased left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic pressure in patients with coronary artery disease, specifically examining the influence of systolic function on the accuracy of these methods. Background. Studies that have correlated Doppler indexes with LV filling pressures primarily involved patients with LV systolic dysfunction. The reliability of Doppler indexes in estimating filling pressures in patients with coronary artery disease and preserved systolic function is unclear. Methods. Pulsed wave Doppler transmittal and pulmonary venous flow velocity curves and LV pressure were recorded in 83 patients with coronary artery disease. Results. Conventional Doppler indexes (deceleration time of mitral E wave velocity, ratio of peak mitral E to A wave velocities and pulmonary venous systolic fraction) correlated with LV filling pressure in patients with an ejection fraction (EF) ≤50% but not in those with an EF >50%. Previously published regression analysis for prediction of LV filling pressure was accurate in patients with an EF ≤50% but not in those with an EF >50%. The difference between flow duration with atrial contraction in the pulmonary veins and transmitral flow duration with atrial contraction correlated with LV filling pressure in both groups. Conclusions. Analysis of the early diastolic portion of the transmitral or pulmonary venous flow velocity curves can be used to predict LV filling pressures in patients with systolic dysfunction, but are inaccurate in patients with preserved systolic function. The combined analysis of both flow velocity curves at atrial contraction is a reliable, feasible predictor of increased LV filling pressure, irrespective of systolic function.
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