In patients with dilated cardiomyopathies, the presence of an abnormal blood pressure response to the Valsalva maneuver has been shown to correlate well with increased left-sided filling pressures. The presence of a "pseudonormalized" early peak to late peak velocity ( E A) ratio on echocardiographic Doppler transmitral filling pattern has also been correlated with increased left ventricular end-diastolic pressures in these patients. Since both abnormal blood pressure response to the Valsalva maneuver and a "pseudonormalized" Doppler transmitral E A ratio probably represent elevated left ventricular filling pressure, we postulated that there would be a positive correlation between the two in a group of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and abnormal systolic function. Twenty-five consecutive male patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II to IV heart failure and dilated cardiomyopathy were included. Patients with abnormal blood pressure responses to Valsalva had significantly larger peak early (E) velocities, smaller peak late (A) velocities, and larger E A ratios compared with patients with normal responses. E A ratio <1.0 was present in eight (100%) of the eight patients with a normal blood pressure response to the Valsalva maneuver and E A ratio >1.0 was present in 12 (71%) of 17 patients with an abnormal response (p < 0.01). This correlation supports the hypotheses of the physiologic mechanisms of these phenomena and also provides two noninvasive methods of evaluating left-sided filling pressures useful in the diagnosis and treatment of congestive heart failure caused by dilated cardiomyopathy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine