Diminished contractile response to increased heart rate in intact human left ventricular hypertrophy: Systolic versus diastolic determinants

Chun Peng Liu, Chih Tai Ting, William Lawrence, W. Lowell Maughan, Mau Song Chang, David A. Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Background. Experimental studies indicate that in addition to diastolic dysfunction, hypertrophied myocardium can display depressed contractile responses, particularly at rapid heart rates, compounding reserve limitations. This study tests whether such abnormalities exist in intact human subjects at physiological paced rates and, if so, whether they are linked to simultaneous rate-dependent deterioration in diastolic function. Methods and Results. Ten subjects with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and 8 normal control subjects were studied. Most LVH patients presented with dyspnea and/or pulmonary edema and had concentric hypertrophy. Since rapid pacing simultaneously alters cardiac filling volumes and pressures, pressure-volume relation analysis was used to better define changes in contractile response. Patients were instrumented with a conductance catheter and micromanometer for pressure-volume data recording and a balloon occluder at the right atrial-inferior vena caval junction to vary filling and thus generate function relations. Data were obtained at baseline and at three atrial pacing rates (100, 120, 150 min-1). In addition, single-beat force-interval data were used to indirectly examine calcium cycling kinetics. LVH subjects demonstrated baseline diastolic abnormalities, including prolonged relaxation, elevated end-diastolic pressure, and reduced chamber compliance. However, systolic function was similar to that in control subjects. With rapid pacing, normal subjects displayed a positive contractile response, whereas this was markedly diminished in LVH subjects. With abrupt termination of pacing and return to slower sinus rhythm, LVH subjects displayed greater initial potentiation followed by a more rapid decline than control subjects, suggesting abnormalities of calcium handling. Despite contractile abnormalities, diastolic function did not further deteriorate with rapid pacing and thus did not appear to be tightly linked to the systolic changes. Conclusions. Pacing stress in intact human LVH can result in systolic impairment superimposed on preexisting but not worsened diastolic dysfunction. Abnormal calcium handling probably contributes prominently to this response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1893-1906
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1993


  • Hemodynamics
  • Pacing
  • Pressure-volume relation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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