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Left ventricular rotation: a neglected aspect of the cardiac cycle

Stefan Bloechlinger| Wilhelm Grander| Juerg Bryner| Martin W. Dünser
Physiological and Technical Notes
Volume 37, Issue 1 / January , 2011

Pages 156 - 163

Abstract

Purpose

To describe the mechanics and possible clinical importance of left ventricular (LV) rotation, exemplify techniques to quantify LV rotation and illustrate the temporal relationship of cardiac pressures, electrocardiogram and LV rotation.

Materials and methods

Review of the literature combined with selected examples of echocardiographic measurements.

Results

Rotation of the left ventricle around its longitudinal axis is an important but thus far neglected aspect of the cardiac cycle. LV rotation during systole maximizes intracavitary pressures, increases stroke volume, and minimizes myocardial oxygen demand. Shearing and restoring forces accumulated during systolic twisting are released during early diastole and result in diastolic LV untwisting or recoil promoting early LV filling. LV twist and untwist are disturbed in a number of cardiac diseases and can be influenced by several therapeutic interventions by altering preload, afterload, contractility, heart rate, and/or sympathetic tone.

Conclusions

The concept of LV twisting and untwisting closely linking LV systolic and diastolic function may carry potential diagnostic and therapeutic importance for the management of critically ill patients. Future clinical studies need to address the feasibility of assessing LV twist and untwist as well as the relevance of its therapeutic modulation in critically ill patients.

Keywords

References

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