Tissue Doppler imaging in the evaluation of left ventricular diastolic function
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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Describe the rationale behind, and clinical use of, tissue Doppler (TD) imaging in the assessment of left ventricular (LV) diastolic function, with a focus on recent developments. RECENT FINDINGS: Tissue Doppler imaging is a novel echocardiographic technique that directly measures myocardial velocities. Systolic TD measurements assess left and right ventricular myocardial contractile function. Diastolic TD values reflect myocardial relaxation, and in combination with conventional Doppler measurements, ratios (E/Ea) have been developed to estimate LV filling pressures. TD values and derived ratios have been demonstrated to be valuable in the diagnosis of elevated LV filling pressures, clinical congestive heart failure (CHF), and the prognosis of patients with cardiac disease and CHF. New TD indices have now been developed to assess myocardial relaxation and LV filling pressures, and the impact of LV systolic function on the use of TD imaging has recently been described. TD echocardiography is being used in an ever-widening group of patients for the assessment of LV diastolic function, and its correlation to, and comparison with, B-type natriuretic peptide is an active area of current investigation. SUMMARY: This review focuses on new developments in the clinical use of TD echocardiography in the evaluation of left ventricular diastolic function.
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