What is Diastolic Dysfunction?

 In Cardiovascular

Diastolic dysfunction is when the left ventricle, or both ventricles, do not properly relax thus impairing the heart’s ability to entirely fill with incoming blood.

What are possible causes of diastolic dysfunction?

  1. Aging
  2. Diabetes
  3. Aortic stenosis
  4. Coronary artery disease
  5. Mitral valve disease
  6. Uncontrolled high blood pressure resulting in ventricle enlargement

What are possible symptoms?

  1. Grade I: Typically, no symptoms
  2. Grade II-IV: Fatigue, coughing or wheezing, shortness of breath when laying down or with exercise, waking at night due to shortness of breath, swelling in legs/feet, rapid heartbeat, rapid weight gain.

Potential complications?

Heart failure

What are possible treatments?

  1. Grade I: may require no specific treatment. However, treatment may be directed at the underlying cause (i.e., high blood pressure).  Please review with your primary care provider about what treatments may be appropriate for you.
  2. Things that can lower your risk for progression: exercise, diet rich in vegetables/fruits/whole grains and low-fat dairy, maintaining an appropriate weight, smoking cessation and taking your medications as prescribed.

Where can I get more information?

For additional information, please seek further guidance from your primary care provider.


Nagueh, S. F. (2016). Echocardiographic evaluation of left ventricular diastolic function. In W. A. Zoghbi & S.B. Yeon (Eds.), UptoDate. Available from: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/echocardiographic-evaluation-of-left-ventricular-diastolic-function?search=diastolic%20dysfunction&source=search_result&selectedTitle=3~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=3

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