Regardless of its cause, systolic dysfunction in dilated cardiomyopathy triggers a wide variety of compensatory responses resulting in cardiac dilatation, fluid retention, and systemic vasoconstriction. Standard therapy with vasodilators, digoxin, and diuretics can provide symptomatic relief in many patients. However, many others do not respond adequately, and mortality from heart failure remains high. This has driven the search for novel therapies. To evaluate the efficacy and decipher mechanisms of action of these treatments, accurate assessments of left ventricular function are valuable. In particular, one seeks indexes that are cardiac-specific, in that they are minimally influenced by vascular loading conditions. An increasingly used 'gold standard' that can achieve this goal is the invasively measured pressure-volume relation. Newer noninvasive methods have yielded several surrogates that have the key advantage of being applicable to chronic disease assessment. In this report, we review the current state-of-the-art in left ventricular function assessment, and describe recent advances in its noninvasive evaluation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine