In 13 patients who had atrial fibrillation the ascending aortic pressure-flow relationships were measured by the pressure gradient technique. Both the pressure and flow curves were similar in contour to ones previously obtained by this method. From these recordings, relationships between the phases of systole, the ventricular filling time, and various derived parameters of pressure and flow such as the pulse pressure, stroke volume, peak flow, stroke work, and peak power were evaluated. For stroke volumes greater than 15 cm3 there was little change in the duration of systole in an individual patient. In each patient both the preejection period and the duration of ejection showed a good correlation with stroke volume, peak flow, stroke work, and peak power. When data from all patients were examined, the relationship between stroke volume and duration of ejection was found to be curvilinear and had an overall correlation of r=0.91. There was marked variation from patient to patient in duration of both the preejection period and systole. Similar correlations between the phases of systole were noted with peak flow, peak power, and stroke work. A positive but mediocre correlation was found between the previous RR interval (an index of ventricular filling time) and the subsequent stroke volume. The correlation, in six patients, between two previous RR intervals and stroke volume was considerably better. The relationship between the pulse pressure and stroke volume was reasonably close except in one patient; however, the group correlation was poor due to differences between individuals.
Joseph C. Greenfield Jr., Alexander Harley, Howard K. Thompson, Andrew G. Wallace