Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction by Myocardial Contrast Echocardiography in Nonelderly Patients Referred for Computed Tomographic Coronary Angiography

Sahar Taqui, Maros Ferencik, Brian P. Davidson, J. Todd Belcik, Federico Moccetti, Michael Layoun, Jacob Raber, Mitchell Turker, Hagai Tavori, Sergio Fazio, Jonathan R. Lindner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Microvascular dysfunction (MVD) is a potential cause of chest pain in younger individuals. The authors hypothesized that nonelderly patients referred for computed tomographic angiography (CTA) but without significant stenosis would have a high prevalence of MVD by myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE). Secondary aims were to test whether the presence of nonobstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) or reduced brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) predicted MVD. Methods: Subjects ≤60 years of age undergoing CTA were recruited if they had either no evidence of coronary plaque or evidence of mild CAD (<50% stenosis) and at least one high-risk plaque feature. Subjects underwent quantitative perfusion imaging using MCE at rest and during regadenoson vasodilator stress. MVD was defined as global or segmental delay of microvascular refill (≥2 sec) during regadenoson. FMD of the brachial artery was also performed. Results: Of the 29 patients in whom MCE could be performed, 12 (41%) had MVD. These subjects, compared with those with normal microvascular function, had lower hyperemic perfusion (mean, 236 ± 68 vs 354 ± 161 intensity units/sec; P = .02) and microvascular flux rate (mean, 1.6 ± 0.4 vs 2.5 ± 0.9 sec−1; P = .002) on quantitative MCE. The degree of FMD was not significantly different in those with or without MVD (mean, 11 ± 4% vs 9 ± 4%; P = .32), and there was a poor correlation between results on stress MCE and FMD. Only eight of the 29 subjects were classified as having nonobstructive CAD. There were no groupwise differences in the prevalence of MVD function in those with versus without CAD (43% vs 38% for negative and positive findings on CTA, respectively, P = .79). Conclusions: MVD is a common finding in the nonelderly population referred for CTA for evaluation of possible CAD but without obstructive stenosis. Neither the presence of noncritical atherosclerotic disease nor abnormal FMD increases the likelihood for detecting MVD in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-825
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • CT coronary angiography
  • Microvascular dysfunction
  • Myocardial contrast echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction by Myocardial Contrast Echocardiography in Nonelderly Patients Referred for Computed Tomographic Coronary Angiography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this