Systolic Time Intervals in Heart Failure in Man
The duration of the systolic time intervals in nondigitalized patients with heart failure was determined from simultaneous fast speed recordings of the electrocardiogram, phonocardiogram, and carotid arterial pulsation. These were compared with the systolic time intervals corrected for heart rate and sex in 211 normal subjects. The failing left ventricle is characterized by a prolongation in the systolic pre-ejection period and a diminution in the left ventricular ejection time while total electromechanical systole remains relatively unaltered. Both components of the pre-ejection period, the Q-1 interval and the isovolumic contraction time, were prolonged. These alterations in the phases of systole occur in the absence of a measurable change in ventricular depolarization time. The prolongation in the pre-ejection period is well correlated with the reduced stroke volume and cardiac output in heart failure and is independently augmented by high levels of arterial pressure. The abbreviation in left ventricular ejection time is also correlated significantly with the stroke volume and cardiac output. It is postulated that a defect in the mechanical performance of the heart is responsible for the abnormal systolic time intervals in human heart failure.
- Left ventricular failure
- Systolic ejection period
- Cardiac index
- Isovolumic contraction time
- Peripheral resistance
- Stroke volume
- © 1968 American Heart Association, Inc.