Effect of healthy aging on left ventricular relaxation and diastolic suction

Graeme Carrick-Ranson, Jeffrey L. Hastings, Paul S. Bhella, Shigeki Shibata, Naoki Fujimoto, M. Dean Palmer, Kara Boyd, Benjamin D. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Doppler ultrasound measures of left ventricular (LV) active relaxation and diastolic suction are slowed with healthy aging. It is unclear to what extent these changes are related to alterations in intrinsic LV properties and/or cardiovascular loading conditions. Seventy carefully screened individuals (38 female, 32 male) aged 21-77 were recruited into four age groups (young: < 35; early middle age: 35-49; late middle age: 50-64 and seniors: ≥65 yr). Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP), stroke volume, LV end-diastolic volume, and Doppler measures of LV diastolic filling were collected at multiple loading conditions, including supine baseline, lower body negative pressure to reduce LV filling, and saline infusion to increase LV filling. LV mass, supine PCWP, and heart rate were not affected significantly by aging. Measures of LV relaxation, including isovolumic relaxation time and the time constant of isovolu-mic pressure decay increased progressively, whereas peak early mitral annular longitudinal velocity decreased with advancing age (P < 0.001). The propagation velocity of early mitral inflow, a noninvasive measure of LV suction, decreased with aging with the greatest reduction in seniors (P < 0.001). Age-related differences in LV relaxation and diastolic suction were not attenuated significantly when PCWP was increased in older subjects or reduced in the younger subjects. There is an early slowing of LV relaxation and diastolic suction beginning in early middle age, with the greatest reduction observed in seniors. Because age-related differences in LV dynamic diastolic filling parameters were not diminished significantly with significant changes in LV loading conditions, a decline in ventricular relaxation is likely responsible for the alterations in LV diastolic filling with senescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012


  • Aging
  • Diastolic function
  • Doppler imaging
  • Relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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