Patients with valvular heart disease often have left ventricular diastolic dysfunction. This review summarizes the underlying mechanisms for diastolic dysfunction in patients with mitral and aortic valve disease. In addition to load, intrinsic myocardial abnormalities occur related to changes in sarcomeric proteins, abnormal calcium handling, and fibrosis. Echocardiography is the initial modality for the diagnosis of left ventricular diastolic function. Although there are challenges to conventional Doppler parameters of diastolic function, it is often possible to arrive at a clinically useful assessment of left ventricular filling pressures using a comprehensive approach. When needed, cardiac magnetic resonance and cardiac catheterization can be obtained. Medical therapy can be of value for the treatment of diastolic dysfunction, but there is a paucity of data evaluating its clinical utility. More importantly, diastolic dysfunction usually improves with timely surgical intervention, although surgery does not always lead to normalization of function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine