A Wiggers diagram, named after its developer, Dr. Carl J. Wiggers, is a standard diagram that is used in teaching cardiac physiology.[1] In the Wiggers diagram, the X-axis is used to plot time, while the Y-axis contains all of the following on a single grid:

The Wiggers diagram clearly illustrates the coordinated variation of these values as the heart beats, assisting one in understanding the entire cardiac cycle.


Phase EKG Heart sounds Semilunar valves Atrioventricular valves
A Atrial systole P S4* closed open
B Ventricular systole - Isovolumetric/isovolumic contraction QRS S1 ("lub") closed closed
C1 Ventricular systole - Ejection 1 - open closed
C2 Ventricular systole - Ejection 2 T open closed
D Ventricular diastole - Isovolumetric/isovolumic relaxation - S2 ("dub") closed closed
E1 Ventricular diastole - Ventricular filling 1 - S3* closed open
E2 Ventricular diastole - Ventricular filling 2 - closed open

Note that during isovolumetric/isovolumic contraction and relaxation, all the heart valves are closed. At no time are all the heart valves open.

  • S3 and S4 heart sounds are associated with pathologies and are not routinely heard.

See also


  1. ^ Mitchell, Jamie R.; Wang, Jiun-Jr (2014-06-01). "Expanding application of the Wiggers diagram to teach cardiovascular physiology". Advances in Physiology Education. 38 (2): 170–175. doi:10.1152/advan.00123.2013. ISSN 1043-4046. PMC 4056172Freely accessible. PMID 24913453. 

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