Preload (cardiology)

Preload (cardiology)

In cardiac physiology, preload is the end volumetric pressure that stretches the right or left ventricle of the heart to its greatest geometric dimensions under variable physiologic demand. In other words, it is the initial stretching of the cardiac myocytes prior to contraction; therefore, it is related to the sarcomere length at the end of diastole. Parameters such as ventricular end diastolic volume or pressure are used to measure preload since the ideal length of the cardiac sarcomere cannot be measured. Passive filling of the (heart) ventricle and subsequent atrial contraction thus allows an echocardiographically volumetric measurement. Preload is theoretically most accurately described as the initial stretching of a single cardiomyocyte prior to contraction. This cannot be measured in vivo and therefore other measurements are used as estimates. Estimation may be inaccurate, for example in a chronically dilated ventricle new sarcomeres may have formed in the heart muscle allowing the relaxed ventricle to appear enlarged. The term end-diastolic volume is better suited to the clinic, although not exactly equivalent to the strict definition of preload. Atrial pressure is a surrogate for preload.

Read more about Preload (cardiology):  Calculation, Factors Affecting Preload

Other articles related to "preload":

Preload (cardiology) - Factors Affecting Preload
... Preloadis affected by venous blood pressure and the rate of venous return ... Preloadis related to the ventricular end-diastolic volume a higher end-diastolic volume implies a higher preload ... However, the relationship is not simple because of the restriction of the term preloadto single myocytes ...