Using technetium scans, this study was aimed at examining possible changes in left ventricular function related to the natural process of cessation of ovarian estrogen production. Fourteen healthy postmenopausal women, divided into two groups according to the time-lapse from menopause (A > 3 years; B < 5 years), underwent a technetium heart scan. The two groups did not differ in heart rate, blood pressure, double product, systemic vascular resistance and cardiac index. The mean endsystolic volume in group A was 14.9 and 25.7 ml/m2 in group B (p = 0.003). The mean pressure/volume ratio was significantly higher in group A than in group B (8.6 vs. 4.7 mm Hg/ml/m2, p = 0.02). Peak ejection rate and peak filling rate were also significantly greater in group A compared to group B (3.3 vs. 2.8 enddiastolic volumes/s, p = 0.02; 2.8 vs. 2.1 end-diastolic volumes/s, p = 0.001, respectively). Our findings suggest that women at an early phase of menopause have a higher degree of myocardial contractility than women of a similar age whose menopause is of longer duration.
- Left ventricular function
- Radionuclide ventriculography