The purpose of this study was to examine the dynamics of left ventricular ejection in patients with obstructive and nonobstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). 30 patients with HCM and 29 patients with no evidence of cardiovascular disease were studied during cardiac catheterization. Using a single multisensor catheter, electromagnetically derived ascending aortic flow velocity and high fidelity left ventricular and aortic pressures were recorded during rest (n = 47) and provocative maneuvers (n = 23). Dynamic ventricular emptying during rest was also analyzed with frame-by-frame angiography (n = 46). Left ventricular outflow was independently derived from both flow velocity and angiographic techniques. The HCM patients were subdivided into three groups: (I) intraventricular gradients at rest (n = 9), (II) intraventricular gradients only with provocation (n = 12), and (III) no intraventricular gradients despite provocation (n = 9). during rest, the percentage of the total systolic ejection period during which forward aortic flow existed was as follows (mean±1 SD): group I, 69±17% (flow), 64±6% (angio); group II, 63±14% (flow), 65±6% (angio); group III, 61±16% (flow), 62±4% (angio); control group, 90±5% (flow), 86±9% (angio). No significant difference was observed between any of the HCM subgroups, but compared with the control group, ejection was completed much earlier in systole independent of the presence or absence of intraventricular gradients. These results suggest that 'outflow obstruction,' as traditionally defined by the presence of an abnormal intraventricular pressure gradient and systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve, does not impede left ventricular outflow in HCM.
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