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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Cardiac ventricular pressure volume loops are 100% seen in step 1 USMLE exams so a good grasp of the concept will yield points on the day.
Here's a simple graph that I drew, click thumbnail to enlarge
Rectangle Slope Line Font Parallel

The Y axis is the LV Pressure and the X axis is the LV Volume
Point A:
Represent mitral valve closure.
A line drawn from point A to X axis will cross the x aixs at the End Diastolic Volume EDV while the dotted line drawn from point A to the Y axis will cross it at the End Diastolic Pressure EDP.
A shift of point A to the right means more EDV and so more Preload.
The straight vertical line between A and B represent isovolumetric contraction.

Point B:
Represent Aortic Valve Opening.
It also corresponds to the Diastolic Pressure if a horizontal line drawn toward the Y axis.
The diastolic pressure is good indicator of the overall resistance of the system.
The dome line from B to C is simply the ejection phase and it's peak point represent the systolic pressure on the Y axis.

Point C:
Represent Aortic Valve Closure.
It also corresponds to the End Systolic Volume ESV.
Therefore the width of the loop is simply the stroke volume as it equals to EDV-ESV.
The vertical line from C to D is the isovolumetric relaxation.

Point D:
Represent Mitral Valve Opening, where pressure nears zero
The rising line thereafter is simply the filling phase.

The slope drawn from the 50 ml volume to point C and beyond represents the contractility. In other words, how quickly the pr changes for a given change in volume.
Shifting this slope to the left means increased contractility. Shifting this slope to the right (down) means decreased contractility.

The other horizontal slope (from 50 to point A) represent the compliance. In other words, how quickly the volume changes for a given pressure.
Steep curves means low compliance (for example ventricular hypertrophy). Flat curves means high compliance (for example ventricular dilatation).
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