AskDefine | Define diastole

Dictionary Definition

diastole n : the widening of the chambers of the heart between two contractions when the chambers fill with blood

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The relaxation and dilation of the heart chambers, between contractions, during which they fill with blood.

Derived terms


See also



  1. diastole

Extensive Definition

Diastole is the period of time when the heart relaxes after systole (contraction). Ventricular diastole is the period during which the ventricles are relaxing, while atrial diastole is the period during which the atria are relaxing. You can remember which is which (diastole and systole) because the Greek word diastole meaning "dilation" shares the same prefix, "Di".

Inside the heart

During ventricular diastole, the pressure in the (left and right) ventricles drops from the peak that it reaches in systole. When the pressure in the left ventricle drops to below the pressure in the left atrium, the mitral valve (atrioventricular bicuspid valve) opens, causing accumulated blood from the atrium to flow into the ventricle.

Inside the arteries

The adjective "diastolic" is used to refer to the relaxation of the heart between muscle contractions. It is used to describe portions of the cardiac cycle related to contraction. More typically it is used as one component of measurement of blood pressure. "Diastolic pressure" refers to the lowest pressure within the arterial blood stream occurring during each heart beat. The other component of blood pressure is systolic pressure, which refers to the highest arterial pressure during each heart beat. When stating blood pressure, systole and then diastole is mentioned; for example: 120/80.

External links

diastole in Danish: Diastole
diastole in German: Diastole
diastole in French: Diastole
diastole in Italian: Diastole
diastole in Dutch: Diastole
diastole in Norwegian Nynorsk: Diastole
diastole in Polish: Diastole
diastole in Portuguese: Diástole
diastole in Russian: Диастола
diastole in Swedish: Diastole

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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