Previous studies showed that myocardial contrast echocardiography can be used to detect relative regional underperfusion in a canine model of critical coronary stenoses. The aim of this study was to determine if myocardial contrast echocardiography performed with a sterile sonicated human serum albumin preparation (Albunex, Molecular Biosystems, San Diego, Calif.) could detect the presence of coronary stenoses of variable degrees of severity. The results were compared with myocardial blood flow as assessed by radiolabeled microspheres in 16 open-chest dogs during baseline, following the creation of a coronary stenosis of variable severity and at the peak of dipyridamole-induced hyperemia. When flow ratios (that is, flow in the control area/ischemic area) were examined, a good correlation was observed between the area under the time-intensity curve and radioactive microsphere blood flow (r = 0.94, p < 0.0001), which allowed distinction of mild from severe stenosis. However, a consistent underestimation of the dipyridamole-induced hyperemia by myocardial contrast echo was seen in the control zone. This could be partially explained by a simultaneous increase in coronary blood flow and blood volume with dipyridamole and by attentuation of the ultrasound signal because of the high concentration of microbubbles at high flows. Myocardial contrast echocardiography can quantitate the amount of jeopardized myocardium during various degrees of coronary stenoses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine