Posts Tagged ‘pcwp in grade 1 diastolic dysfunction’

What will be the  pulmonary capillary wedge pressure ( PCWP ) in grade 1 LV diastolic dysfunction ?

  1. Significantly elevated
  2. Marginally elevated
  3. Usually Normal
  4. It depends upon  age, LA size and LV  function.

Answer is 3 . (Of course  it depends on  4 )  Normal PCWP  is  4-12mmhg

Are these patients with grade  1 LV diastolic dysfunction  are at  risk for  acute pulmonary congestion at times of stress ?

Probably not ( in  most )*

                                             The grade 1  LV diastolic dysfunction or defect is the most used (abused ! )  echo terminology .The diagnostic simplicity of this condition namely  a simple documentation of “a”velocity more than “e” , has made it  as an epidemic in echo labs  world wide. After all  , it reflects a simple  fact that  left ventricle  has  summoned   the atria  for assistance   (Which is  all the more  physiological   at times  of stress   !)

When does this physiology becomes pathology ?

As long as  the atria is  doing its job of assisting the LV without any fuss  ,  the mean pressure of LA(PCWP) is maintained  within  normal level . Only if the atrial function is stretched  beyond the limits ,  PCWP begins to raise.  It can happen  in a variety of  ways . Most commonly it happens   elderly hypertensive /Diabetics  especially with LVH .

It can also occur in healthy individuals when they become physically deconditioned. (Left ventricle   goes  for  disuse and find it difficult to relax)

Final  message

Isolated  grade 1 LV diastolic dysfunction in people  > 40 years   generally do  not indicate a serious  abnormality.

Only if they have DM/HT and myocardial  disease they need to be evaluated further.

One practical clue is ,  if LA size is normal one can rule out  significant  diastolic dysfunction.


* In elderly population ,   when they undergo any major  surgery ,  presence of even grade 1 LV diastolic dysfunction can be a marker for peri -operative LVF and  lung congestion .

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