Interrelationship of mid-diastolic mitral valve motion, pulmonary venous flow, and transmitral flow.
This study offers a unifying mechanism of left ventricular filling dynamics to link the unexplained mid-diastolic motion of the mitral valve with an associated increase in transmitral flow, with the phasic character of pulmonary vein flow, and with changes in the atrioventricular pressure difference. M mode echograms of mitral valve motion and Doppler echocardiograms of mitral and pulmonary vein flow velocities were recorded in 12 healthy volunteers (heart rate = 60 +/- 9 beats/min). All echocardiograms showed an undulation in the mitral valve (L motion) at a relatively constant delay from the peak of the diastolic phase of pulmonary vein flow (K phase). In six subjects, the L motion was also associated with a distinct wave of mitral flow (L wave). Measured from the onset of the QRS complex, Q-K was 577 +/- 39 msec; Q-L was 703 +/- 42 msec, and K-L was 125 +/- 16 msec. Multiple measurements within each subject during respiratory variations in RR interval indicated exceptionally small differences in the temporal relationships (mean coefficient of variation 2%). Early rapid flow deceleration is caused by a reversal of the atrioventricular pressure gradient, and the L wave arises from the subsequent reestablishment of a positive gradient due to left atrial filling via the pulmonary veins. The mitral valve moves passively in response to the flowing blood and the associated pressure difference. This interpretation is confirmed by (1) a computational model, and (2) a retrospective analysis of data from patients with mitral stenosis and from conscious dogs instrumented to measure transmitral pressure-flow relationships.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association