Regardless the choice of method, to evaluate diastolic function and filling pressures a combination of Doppler echocardiographic variables has to be considered. Present guidelines (Nagueh) provide support but do not address all the challenges. The important aspect of age-dependency for normality of many of the used variables during assessment is not clearly dealt with by the guidelines.
We have constructed a reference table pooled from several earlier publications, but mainly based on the paper published by Munagala et al. With this new reference table of age-dependent normal values we have created this automated decision support which categorizes the variables as “low-normal-high” related to age. The possible and reasonable combination of the categorized variables results in a classification of “normal” function or grade I-III dysfunction. The assessment starts with E/A ratio and pulmonary venous flow, accompanied by E/e’ (mean of septal and lateral) and left atrial area or volume. Implausible or clearly contradictory combinations results in “manual control”.
If “manual control” is required we recommend checking the variables and the quality of measurements, and adding tricuspid regurgitation velocity, E-deceleration time, IVRT etc. In some cases, this will provide a reasonable classification, in others it has to be accepted that a classification is not possible.
Our intention has been to provide a decision support which is a usable assistance in evaluating diastolic function/filling pressure in individuals with known cardiac disease or patients with symptoms of possible cardiac origin (as in algorithm “B” in the guidelines).
Welcome to try this decision support and please feel free to contact us for feed-back!