Left ventricular diastolic function. Doppler echocardiographic changes soon after cardiac transplantation.
In acute cardiac rejection, left ventricular diastolic function is altered, and a restrictive ventricular filling pattern occurs. Doppler echocardiographic indexes of mitral inflow have been proposed as sensitive markers of the rejection process. As rejection progresses, the restrictive ventricular filling pattern is reflected by a shortening of isovolumic relaxation time and mitral valve pressure half-time and by an increase in early transmitral filling velocity. Diastolic function is also compromised in the nonrejecting cardiac transplant recipient during the early postoperative period. This study examined the progression in Doppler-derived mitral filling indexes in 25 recent cardiac transplant recipients who demonstrated no histological evidence of transplant rejection. Isovolumic relaxation time, mitral valve pressure half-time, and early transmitral filling velocity were measured at postoperative weeks 1, 2, 4, and 6 on the day that surveillance right ventricular endomyocardial biopsies were performed. The initial indexes were comparable to previously described restrictive parameters and over the 6-week study period evolved into a nonrestrictive filling pattern. This evolution reflects a progressive improvement in postoperative diastolic function and a decrease in left heart filling pressures. None of the evaluated clinical characteristics, including preoperative pulmonary pressures, total ischemic time of the transplanted heart, cardiopulmonary bypass time, and age of the donor heart, correlated with this process. Given the increasing use of Doppler echocardiography as a means of screening for transplant rejection, it is important to have a thorough understanding of normal postoperative changes in left ventricular diastolic function.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association