The dependence of the time constant of left ventricular isovolumic relaxation (tau) on pericardial pressure.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the dependence of tau, the time constant of left ventricular (LV) isovolumic relaxation, on pericardial pressure and to compare values of tau as determined by the methods of previous investigators and by a standard exponential curve fit. All of the more recent methods involve an additional parameter--the pressure to which the exponential relaxation finally declines (PB, the pressure intercept in the method of Craig and Murgo and the asymptote in the exponential fits). An additional purpose of the study was to determine the relation of these parameters to pericardial pressure. In eight closed-chest anesthetized dogs, tau was calculated from intracavitary (Plv) and transmural LV pressure (Plv = Plv-Pper) by each method as pericardial (Pper) and LV end-diastolic pressure were changed by pericardial infusion and intravenous volume loading. The time constant determined by the method of Weiss et al was dependent on pericardial pressure; the time constants determined by the other methods were not. PB and the asymptotes were found to be similar and to increase almost equally with pericardial pressure. When pericardial pressure was zero, these values were approximately -20 mm Hg. Thus, both these parameters seem to indicate the same baseline pressure, a pressure that increases pari passu with pericardial pressure. Reported changes in the value of tau calculated from intracavitary LV pressure by the method of Weiss et al may reflect factors other than changes in LV diastolic function.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association