Assessment of Diastolic Function
Impaired left ventricular diastolic failure is a common cause of haemodynamic instability in perioperative and critical care settings. It is now a more common cause of signs and symptoms of heart failure than systolic heart failure. It is difficult to diagnose without echocardiography, and even with echocardiography it can be misdiagnosed as a normal heart or hypovolaemia, unless left atrial pressure is estimated. A high left atrial pressure is the important finding that helps to identify clinically important diastolic failure. In this course, the focus is on left ventricular diastolic function.