Objectives. This study was undertaken to determine whether myocardial contrast echocardiography can be used to estimate the transmural distribution of flow. Background. Myocardial contrast echocardiography has been shown to reliably measure average transmural blood flow during myocardial ischemia. However, there is controversy regarding its ability to determine the transmural distribution of flow. Methods. The transmural distribution of flow was measured in 21 open chest anesthetized dogs with use of radiolabeled microspheres and sonicated albumin microbubbles (mean size 4.5 μm). In the 11 Group I dogs, myocardial contrast echocardiography was performed at baseline and during left anterior descending artery stenosis. In five of these dogs, it was also performed during left circumflex artery stenosis. In these dogs large (mean 12 μm) hand-agitated bubbles were also used. In the five Group II dogs, myocardial contrast echocardiography was performed before and 45 s after intracoronary injection of 6 mg of papaverine in the presence of a critical left circumflex artery stenosis. The five Group III dogs were studied during cardiopulmonary bypass at baseline and during left anterior descending artery stenosis. Off-line image analysis of the echocardiographic images was performed and timeintensity curves obtained from thess images were correlated with radiolabeled microsphere-derived flows. Results. The ratios of the parameters derived from the endocardium and epicardium during myocardial contrast echocardiography were found to correlate poorly (ranging from R2 = 0 to R2 = 0.35) with radiolabeled microsphere-derived endocardial/ epicardial flow ratios over a wide range of flow ratios (0.01 to 2.58). These results were not influenced either by the location of the regions of interest (left anterior descending vs. left circumflex artery bed) or by the size of the bubbles (4.5 vs. 12 μm). Conclusions. Myocardial contrast echocardiography cannot be used to assess the transmural distribution of flow during myocardial ischemia not associated with infarction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine