Systolic Time Intervals as Measures of the Contractile State of the Left Ventricular Myocardium in Man
Previous studies relating systolic time intervals and measures of cardiac performance have suggested that the time intervals may be useful indices of myocardial contractility. To explore this possibility, systolic times and left ventricular (LV) performance and contractility were measured nearly simultaneously in 14 normal subjects and 56 patients with cardiac disease. Preejection period (PEP) and the ratio of PEP to LV ejection time (LVET) changed significantly with acute inotropic influences (exercise and isoproterenol), were normal in patients with right or left ventricular overloads in whom cardiac index and ejection fraction were depressed but contractile element velocity at peak dP/dt and the Frank-Levinson contractility index were normal, and were significantly abnormal in patients with either clinically evident or occult LV decompensation in whom the measures of contractility were reduced. Correlations of PEP and PEP/LVET with measures of both performance and contractility were insignificant for patients with valvular disease, shunts, or cor pulmonale and significant but weak for the entire series. However, in subjects with either normal left ventricles or cardiac disease confined to the left ventricle, PEP and PEP/LVET exhibited good correlations with measures of pump function and excellent correlations with measures of contractility. These results indicate that the systolic times are a valid measure of contractility which should prove useful in comparing patients with cardiac pathology confined to the LV myocardium and in following patients with extramyocardial hemodynamic lesions of constant severity.
- Received January 4, 1972.
- Accepted April 6, 1972.
- © 1972 American Heart Association, Inc.