Echocardiographic determination of left ventricular stress velocity relations in man. With reference to the effects of loading and contractility
The time course of left ventricular (LV) circumferential stress and fiber shortening velocity (Vcf) were determined at 20 msec intervals in 30 patients from simultaneous recordings of LV pressure (micromanometer) and LV dimensions (echography). In 12 patients with normal LV function, endocardial and midwall maximal (max) Vcf, Vcf at peak stress, and endocardial mean Vcf were significantly greater than in eight patients with myocardial disease. Peak stress was less in the normal subjects (mean equal 241 gl/cm2, range 180 to 310 g/cm2) than in those with myocardial diseases (mean equals 371 g/cm2, range 280 to 513 g/cm2). Vcf was reduced in five out of seven patients with chronic LV volume overload, while peak stress ranged from normal in three to increased in four. Max Vcf, mean Vcf, and peak stress were normal in three patients with chronic LV pressure overload; Vcf at peak stress was normal in two. Good correlation was observed between angiographic determinations of mean Vcf and endocardial max Vcf, Vcf at peak stress and mean Vcf. Induced changes in preload in five patients (dextran infusion at constant heart rate) produced a 12.2 per cent increase in peak stress (P small than 0.05), and insignificant changes in max Vcf (3.7 per cent increase, P = NS), in Vcf at peak stress (5 per cent decrease, P smaller than 0.05), in mean Vcf (0.7 per cent increase, P = NS). Increasing afterload with angiotensin in seven patients (peak stress increased by 45 per cent, P smaller than 0.01) reduced max Vcf, Vcf at peak stress and mean Vcf by 33 per cent, 39 per cent respectively. Lowering afterload in one patient (amyl nitrite) produced an increase in Vcf. Improvement in Vcf was observed in all instances during positive inotropic stimulation (isoproterenol in three normals, digoxin in four with myocardial disease). Thre response of endocardial and midwall Vcf to loading and contractility were similar. In man Vcf is an index of myocardial contractility which is affected minimally by changes in preload but responds inversely to changes in afterload. Its sensitivity to acute afterload changes may, at times, limit its clinical applicability.