Background. Myocardial contrast echocardiography currently involves intra-arterial injection of contrast. For this technique to have a broader application, it is necessary that myocardial opacification be achieved from a venous injection of contrast. Methods and Results. To achieve myocardial opacification after right-side injection of contrast, two groups of open-chest anesthetized dogs were studied. Group 1 included nine dogs in whom microbubbles of various sizes, concentrations, and volumes were injected into the left atrium to determine microbubble characteristics that influence myocardial opacification. Group 2 included eight dogs in whom the effect of the combination of microbubble characteristics and myocardial blood flow on myocardial opacification was evaluated after right atrial injection of contrast. Background-subtracted time-intensity plots were generated from the myocardium to measure peak videointensity. In the group 2 dogs, digital subtraction and color coding were used to further highlight the contrast effect. The number, concentration, and size of the microbubbles all independently affected (p<0.01) peak myocardial videointensity after left atrial injection of contrast on multivariate analysis. Highly concentrated microbubbles (4.4 to 5.1 billion/ml) given during dipyridamole-induced coronary hyperemia was most frequently (88%) associated with myocardial opacification after right atrial injection of contrast and was the best predictor of this result on multivariate analysis (χ2=9.01, p=0.003). No changes were noted in left atrial, left ventricular, and pulmonary artery pressures despite injection of large numbers of microbubbles into the right atrium. Conclusions. Successful and reproducible myocardial opacification can be achieved during myocardial contrast echocardiography after right atrial injection of contrast. These findings could have far-reaching implications in the use of myocardial contrast echocardiography in acute and chronic ischemic syndromes in humans.
- Myocardial opacification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)