Vortex formation time-to-left ventricular early rapid filling relation: model-based prediction with echocardiographic validation.


During early rapid filling, blood aspirated by the left ventricle (LV) generates an asymmetric toroidal vortex whose development has been quantified using vortex formation time (VFT), a dimensionless index defined by the length-to-diameter ratio of the aspirated (equivalent cylindrical) fluid column. Since LV wall motion generates the atrioventricular pressure gradient resulting in the early transmitral flow (Doppler E-wave) and associated vortex formation, we hypothesized that the causal relation between VFT and diastolic function (DF), parametrized by stiffness, relaxation, and load, can be elucidated via kinematic modeling. Gharib et al. (Gharib M, Rambod E, Kheradvar A, Sahn DJ, Dabiri JO. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103: 6305-6308, 2006) approximated E-wave shape as a triangle and calculated VFT(Gharib) as triangle (E-wave) area (cm) divided by peak (Doppler M-mode derived) mitral orifice diameter (cm). We used a validated kinematic model of filling for the E-wave as a function of time, parametrized by stiffness, viscoelasticity, and load. To calculate VFT(kinematic), we computed the curvilinear E-wave area (using the kinematic model) and divided it by peak effective orifice diameter. The derived VFT-to-LV early rapid filling relation predicts VFT to be a function of peak E-wave-to-peak mitral annular tissue velocity (Doppler E'-wave) ratio as (E/E')(3/2). Validation utilized 262 cardiac cycles of simultaneous echocardiographic high-fidelity hemodynamic data from 12 subjects. VFT(Gharib) and VFT(kinematic) were calculated for each subject and were well-correlated (R(2) = 0.66). In accordance with prediction, VFT(kinematic) to (E/E')(3/2) relationship was validated (R(2) = 0.63). We conclude that VFT(kinematic) is a DF index computable in terms of global kinematic filling parameters of stiffness, viscoelasticity, and load. Validation of the fluid mechanics-to-chamber kinematics relation unites previously unassociated DF assessment methods and elucidates the mechanistic basis of the strong correlation between VFT and (E/E')(3/2).

DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00645.2010

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