Definition: formerly, the end-diastolic pressure stretching the ventricular walls, which determines the end-diastolic fiber length at the onset of ventricular contraction, or some other measure of this load on the muscle fibers before contraction; now, more rigorously expressed in terms of the wall stress at this moment, related to the tension per unit cross-sectional area in the ventricular muscle fibers (calculated by Laplace law from internal radius and pressure modified by wall thickness) that balances this transmural pressure at the moment before contraction begins.
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