Ten patients without valvular disease were studied by ventriculography, and the rate and pattern of phasic blood flow into the left ventricle were determined by ventricular volume determinations at intervals of 33 ms during a single diastolic filling period. The derived left ventricular inflow patterns were then compared with the echocardiographic mitral EF slope obtained no more than 25 minutes before left ventriculography. The steepness of the EF slope was found to be inversely correlated with the time required to reach peak inflow velocity (r = 0.80, P less than 0.01) and directly correlated with the peak left ventricular inflow velocity divided by the time required to reach peak velocity (r = 0.72, P less than 0.05). No correlation was found between mean flow velocity into the left ventricle and the EF slope (r = 0.40, P = NS). A significant inverse correlation was found between the EF slope and the fraction of the diastolic filling period elapsed when 50 per cent of the filling volume had entered the left ventricle (r = 0.85, P less than 0.01). These findings suggest that the time required to reach left ventricular peak inflow velocity is one of the determinants of the mitral EF slope.
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