Objectives. The aim of this study was to validate the use of myocardial contrast echocardiography to determine coronary blood flow reserve in humans. Background. Although myocardial contrast echocardiogrephy has been used to accurately quantify coronary flow reserve in animals, validation for its use in humans to measure flow reserve is lacking. Methods. We analyzed the time-intensity curve from the anteroseptal region of the left ventricular short axis produced after a left main coronary artery injection of sonicated albumin before and after intracoronary administration of papaverine in 16 patients without angiographically significant coronary artery disease. The ratio of half-time of video intensity disappearance from peak intensity, variable of curve width, area under the timeintensity curve and corrected peak contrast intensity after papaverine compared with baseline were correlated with coronary flow reserve measured simultaneously with an intracoronary Doppler probe in the left anterior descending coronary artery. Results. There was a strong inverse correlation with half-time of contrast washout and coronary flow reserve (r = -0.76, p = 0.0007) and a strong positive correlation between the variable of curve width (which is inversely proportional to curve width) and coronary flow reserve (r = 0.71, p = O.002). There was a weak but significant inverse correlation between area under the timeintensity curve and coronary flow reserve (r = -0.54, p = 0.03) but no correlation between corrected peak contrast inteasity and coronary flow reserve (r = -036, p = NS), Despite the strong correlation for the ratios for half-time of contrast washout and variable of curve width and actual coronary flow reserve measured with intracoronary Doppler probe, the transit time ratios consistently underestimated coronary flow reserve. Conclusions. Myocardial contrast echocardiography performed with left main coronary artery injections of sonicated albumin can be utilized to measure coronary flow reserve in humans. Transit time variable ratios (half-time of contrast washout and variable of curve width) derived from the time-intensity curve correlate most strongly with coronary flow reserve.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine