The Use of Apexcardiography in the Assessment of Left Ventricular Diastolic Pressure
A total of 58 observations of simultaneous left ventricular pressure and apex-cardiograms (ACG) was made on 18 patients. An a wave percentage amplitude (aWPA) of greater than 15% of the total deflection of the ACG indicated an increase in left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP). In 12 observations on six patients, an aWPA of less than 15% was associated with a high LVEDP. Patients with high LVEDP and aWPA of less than 15% had a high early left ventricular diastolic pressure with further rise in pressure prior to atrial contraction. These patients had small LV a waves ("atrial kick"). The aWPA of the ACG correlated better with the magnitude of the LV a wave than the absolute level of LVEDP in all patients. Correlation was good between changes in aWPA and changes in LVEDP in individual patients; but the ACG as an indirect means of evaluating left ventricular function is limited by the fact that elevations in LVEDP can exist in the presence of a normal aWPA. The ACG is a complex tracing reflecting not only intracardiac pressures, but changes in left ventricular volume, compliance, position, and perhaps left atrial function as well.
- Received January 16, 1970.
- Accepted March 2, 1970.
- © 1970 American Heart Association, Inc.