Perioperative Diastolic Dysfunction: A Comprehensive Approach to Assessment by Transesophageal Echocardiography.
Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) has only recently been recognized as an important determinant of perioperative morbidity. Intraoperative echocardiographers have been slow to adopt assessment of LVDD into clinical practice. This has been partly attributable to the complex measurements required to characterize LVDD, which are in turn related to how our understanding of diastole has evolved. Additionally, the lack of effective therapeutic options has left many wondering whether it is worthwhile to characterize this pathology in the first place. However, therapies are developed more rapidly once a problem can be identified reliably. The assessment of LVDD is centered on how effectively the left ventricle can fill. Diastolic dysfunction affects intraventricular pressures and stiffness, which in turn affect the pressure relationship between the left atrium and the left ventricle thereby affecting transmitral flow. Since echocardiography can enable the measurement of flow velocities, transmitral diastolic filling flow patterns provide robust information on diastolic function. The impact of abnormal diastolic function on left atrial pressure has consequences for pulmonary venous flow, which can also be measured with echocardiography. However, given the limitations of flow velocity, direct measurement of tissue velocity can significantly improve the characterization of diastolic dysfunction. The evolution of Doppler and speckle-based methods of assessing tissue motion have vastly improved our understanding of diastolic function. With the development of simpler algorithms for categorization, and their gradual adoption by perioperative echocardiographers, LVDD should be better diagnosed and treated to improve postoperative outcomes.
Nicoara, A; Whitener, G; Swaminathan, M
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