ECG education

Diastolic dysfunction

Vivienne Miller



A 75-year-old woman with longstanding hypertension reports episodic irregularity of her pulse. Subsequent tests reveal diastolic dysfunction. What are the ECG signs of diastolic dysfunction?

Key Points

  • The P wave is the main electrical wave to occur during diastole.
  • The risk of diastolic dysfunction increases with age and the condition is very common.
  • Systolic heart failure is always associated with diastolic dysfunction, but the converse is not always true.
  • ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers and calcium channel blockers can improve left ventricular relaxation in diastolic dysfunction.