Diastolic Dysfunction

Definition

With each heartbeat, the heart contracts and then relaxes. The relaxation stage is called diastole. Diastolic dysfunction can occur over time when the ventricles of the heart don't relax properly and become stiff.


This can cause increased pressure in the ventricles. Diastolic dysfunction can lead to increased pressure and fluid in the blood vessels in the lungs (pulmonary congestion). It can also cause increased pressure and fluid in the blood vessels returning to the heart (systemic congestion).

Symptoms

Diastolic dysfunction alone doesn't cause any symptoms.

Diagnosis

An echocardiogram can determine if a person has diastolic dysfunction.

Causes

Treatment

Treatment usually involves treating the underlying causes for diastolic dysfunction.