On February 27 and March 20, 2014, InsideScientific hosted a special 2-part webinar about the fundamentals of cardiovascular physiology and hemodynamics, including discussion on the principles of preload, afterload, contractility, and lusitropy.

In the first installment, Dr. Daniel Burkhoff describes the relationship between pressure and volume in the heart and how they are affected in heart failure. In addition, he introduces Harvi, an interactive and comprehensive simulation-based textbook offering a review of fundamental concepts related to the study of cardiovascular physiology and hemodynamics.

In the second installment, Dr. Burkhoff expands on these concepts, including in-depth discussion on applications of end systolic pressure-volume relationships (ESPVR) and end diastolic pressure-volume relationships (EDPVR).

These webinars are essential for any researcher interested in studying hemodynamics and PV loops. Applications in cardiovascular research are broad and include:

  • Left Ventricular Assist Device Evaluation
  • Assessment of Contractility
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Cardiac Hypertrophy
  • Heart Failure
  • Toxicology/Regulatory studies
  • Surgical Intervention
  • Ischemia/Reperfusion Research
  • Vascular Occlusion

Follow the links below to access key educational points from the webinar…

<< Check out our webinar series, Preclinical Cardiovascular Science 2018 >>

Part One

  • 04:48  Four Fundamental Aspects of Cardiovascular physiology
  • 07:27  Foundations of Cellular Physiology (Sarcomere and Heart Muscle)
  • 09:25  Integrated Cardiovascular Physiology
  • 14:15  Volumes and Pressures Retrievable from the PV Loop, discussion of stroke volume, and problems that can occur
  • 17:00 Pressure-Volume Relations: The basics
  • 22:45 Preload- Sarcomere Isometric F-L Relation and ventricular level
  • 28:25 Afterload, contractility and lusitropy
  • 43:20 How to quantify Cardiac Performance
  • 44:40  Discussion for Harvi, an interactive, simulation-based textbook


  • 50:15  What is the best way to choose loops to analyze occlusion data?
  • 53:50  How to fit the ESPVR curve linear or exponential fit?
  • 57:20  Problems in research papers with reporting EES
  • 58:08  What is the difference between Emax, ES and elastance?

Part Two

  • 05:00  Overview of Part One
  • 11:35  Application of diastole and systole (ESPVR linearities, Non-linearities example using isolated hearts, Non-linearities on animal subjects)
  • 15:27  Four possible ESPVR changes responding to interventions
  • 18:25  ESPVR recommendations for proper reporting
  • 22:40  EDPVR introduction
  • 23:30  Linerizing EDPVR
  • 24:45  Common errors in using a linear curve for EDPVR
  • 26:55  EDPVR- Alternative Analysis, when stiffness of the heart is not a main concern, the impact of therapy used.


  • 29:20  What is the importance of Tau?
  • 32:45  What is Arterio-Ventricular Coupling?
  • 36:04  What conformational changes occur in a PV loop plot, other than a rightward shift of the PV-loops, that confirm the subject has heart failure?
  • 36:04  In HF do PV loops maintain their classical shape? In this case, are there changes to the way hemodynamics are calculated (i.e. SV,SW, CO)?
  • 39:18  What is the effect of heart valve disorders on PV Loops (aortic stenosis and mitral valve incompetence)?
  • 42:50  Besides differences in pressure, how would RV PV loops differ from LV PV loops?
  • 45:35  What is the significant of Vo?
  • 47:51  What afterload and heart rate ranges do you (Dr. Dan Burkhoff) feel pressure-volume loop relationships are  most appropriately utilized?
  • 51:36  Comment and opinion from Dr. Daniel Burkhoff on myocardial strain analysis as a practical, load-independent measure of cardiac function
  • 54:20  Background of WIlliam Harvi