The hypothesis that myocardial contrast echocardiography could be used to simultaneously assess coronary blood flow reserve and the size of the perfusion bed supplied by a coronary artery was examined in nine patients and six dogs. All patients were undergoing cardiac catheterization and had single vessel coronary artery disease (≥85% stenosis of either the proximal left anterior descending or the left circumflex coronary artery); the six dogs had a critical stenosis of the left circumflex coronary artery. Three milliliters of sonicated Renografin-76 (mean microbubble size 6 μm) was injected into the left main coronary artery before and after intracoronary administration of papavarine, 6 to 9 mg. The beds supplied by the normal and stenotic vessels could not be differentiated during contrast echocardiography before injection of papavarine. However, after papavarine, the normal vascular bed showed significantly more contrast enhancement than did the bed supplied by the stenotic artery. This disparity in contrast enhancement made it possible to delineate the size of the bed perfused by the stenotic vessels. When quantitative analysis of the time-intensity curves obtained from the echocardiograms was performed in the dogs, the absolute values for the area under the curve, peak contrast intensity and curve width did not correlate with absolute blood flows measured with radiolabeled microspheres. However, the ratios of the areas under the curves derived from the two vascular beds before and after papavarine correlated well with the ratios of blood flows between the two beds during the same stages (r2 = 0.73 by linear regression and r2 = 0.85 by an exponential function). In comparison, the ratios of peak amplitudes and curve widths before and after papavarine had poor correlations with ratios of flows from the two beds (r2 = 0.18 and 0.02, respectively). In conclusion, myochardial contrast echocardiograpgy can be used to simultaneously assess coronary blood flow reserve and the size of the perfusion bed supplied by a stenotic vessel.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine