Clinical assessment of ventricular ejection dynamics with and without outflow obstruction.
With the advent of multisensor micromanometric/velocimetric catheterization, digital angiography and Doppler and color echocardiography, extensive fluid dynamic quantitation is now possible in cardiology. Such high fidelity instantaneous measurements offer the clinician the prospect of identifying phasic changes in ventricular ejection dynamics that may disclose contraction abnormalities before overt muscle or pump failure is manifested. Accordingly, this review provides a basis for interpreting these measurements and a conceptual framework for understanding ventricular ejection dynamics with and without outflow obstruction. Necessary terminology and fluid dynamic background, including properties of flows generated by large transient forces, Euler and unsteady Bernoulli equations and local and convective acceleration gradients, are reviewed first. Physiologic aspects of ejection dynamics and transvalvular and intraventricular gradients without obstruction are discussed. Maximal outflow acceleration, rather than ejection velocity, coincides with the attainment of the early peak of the nonobstructive pressure gradients. These gradients are characteristically even more asymmetric than are the associated ejection velocity signals. Clinical correlations are introduced, beginning with obstructive transvalvular and subvalvular gradients in aortic stenosis and the phenomenon of recovery of pressure loss in the poststenotic dilation. The large obstructive gradients tend to be distinctively symmetric, as are the ejection waveforms, whose configuration they track more or less closely, depending on the degree of stenosis and relative preponderance of convective effects throughout ejection. Pitfalls in some unwarranted applications of the "simplified Bernoulli equation" are pointed out. Polymorphic gradients of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, reflecting dynamically dissimilar intraventricular flow regimes in early, mid and late systole, are examined. Enormous late systolic gradients can be associated with progressive shrinkage of flow passage area and sharp increases in linear velocity while volumetric outflow is diminutive. The concept of ventriculoannular disproportion in dilated ventricles is defined and discussed. The implications of ejection fluid dynamics for systolic ventricular and myocardial loading are examined, and the concept of complementarity and competitiveness between intrinsic and extrinsic load components is introduced. Finally, critical research issues are identified and addressed. The primary emphasis is on using the basic principles of fluid dynamics to better understand ejection in the normal or abnormal human left ventricle and aortic root.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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