Diastolic Dysfunction Treatment

By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD

Diastolic dysfunction may take many months or even years to cause symptoms and the slow disease progression means many individuals tolerate the illness without requiring any specific treatment.


In cases of conditions that predispose to diastolic dysfunction, the underlying illness should be treated. For example, high blood pressure and diabetes should be treated appropriately. Atrial fibrillation is another condition that requires prompt treatment, as the inadequate pumping of blood by the atrium into the ventricles can also lead to diastolic dysfunction. If the atrial fibrillation causes an increased heart rate, drugs may be administered to slow the heart rate down.

Specific therapy

The role of specific agents in the treatment of diastolic dysfunction is not yet clear. Some studies suggest that calcium channel blockers may reduce ventricular stiffness in some cases. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors may be effective at preventing ventricular remodelling and examples of theses agents include enalapril, captopril and ramipril.

The first-line approach to diastolic dysfunction is currently beta blocker therapy, which slows the heart rate and allows the ventricles time to fill with blood properly.

Treatment of symptoms

Diastolic dysfunction can eventually lead to pulmonary edema, a serious condition that requires prompt treatment. The treatment approach to pulmonary edema is focused on drugs that reduce the heart rate and diuretics to remove fluid from the body.

Reviewed by , BSc

Further Reading

Last Updated: Apr 14, 2014

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  1. Gangadharan Nambiar Gangadharan Nambiar India says:

    it happens when you hurriedly climb stair case or do some work after meals ,breakfast etc, a dry cough follows the discomfort in the chest , which make you tired and sweating

    • Tony Cohen Tony Cohen United States says:

      If you diminish your activities to cause less cardiac work, will this, including ace inhibitors and weight reduction, slow progression of the dysfunction?

      • Max Salsbury Max Salsbury United Kingdom says:

        Hi Tony:

        I've been told to carry out 4 sessions a week of hard Aerobic exercise for 30 mins minimum.  I'm 62 years old and had a mitral heart valve repair in 2016.  Subsequently I have developed some stiffening of the left ventricle.  My Cardiologist has suggested speed walking, swimming etc.  Have to say I've always been active but with breathlessness have naturally slowed down......need now to rev up it seems!  So plan is to do five sessions a week, and lose 10lbs by Christmas!  MAX SALSBURY

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