Usefulness of dipyridamole transesophageal echocardiography in the evaluation of myocardial ischemia and coronary artery flow
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High-dose dipyridamole transesophageal stress echocardiography has recently been proposed as a useful and safe method to assess myocardial ischemia in patients with a poor transthoracic acoustic window. It has also been shown that transophageal echocardiography (TEE) allows the study of coronary blood flow reserve (CBFR) in the left anterior descending artery (LAD).
The aim of our study was to assess whether the morphologic information and pathophysiologic data on CBFR and myocardial ischemia can be collected by a single stress TEE without comprimising its feasibility, safety and accuracy. We studied, 29 patients with known or suspected CAD (previous myocardial infarction or angina) (Group A), and as a control group, we studied 11 patients with mitral disease or mitral prostheses (Group B).
All patients underwent the coronary angiography. None of Group B patients showed significant coronary artery stenosis (>70%). In baseline conditions left ventricular wall motion and LAD coronary blood flow velocity (CBFV) were also evaluated. The following CBFV parameters were measured: maximal diastolic velocity (MaxDV), mean diastolic velocity (MnDV), maximal systolic velocity (MaxSV), mean systolic velocity (MnSV). The ratios of dipyridamole to rest maximal and to mean to diastolic velocities (MaxDV-Dip/Max DV-rest; MnDv-Dip/MnDV-rest) were measured as indexes of CBFR.
No side effects were observed and the test could be completed in all patients (feasibility 100%). Wall motion analysis was adequate in all patients (feasibility 100%). Comparison between wall motion analysis was obtained and angiographic findings showed that the overall sensitivity and specificity of TEE were 84% and 93% respectively. Sensitivity for one, two and three vessel disease was 60%, 70% and 100%, respectively. LAD CBFV was adequately recorded in 85% of patients. CBFR parameters showed a significant difference between the two groups (Max DV-Dip/Max DV-rest; 1.67±0.7 vs. 2.73±0.6,P<0.001); comparison between Group B patients and those of Group A with angiographically documented LAD stenosis showed a statistically significant difference in CBFR parameters (MaxDV-Dip/MnDV-rest, 2.73±0.6 vs. 1.65±0.7,P<0.001, MnDV-Dip/MnDV-rest, 2.56±0.5 vs. 1.69±0.6 P<0.001). We conclude that transesophageal stress echocardiography is a useful method to study CAD and that it is possible to assess both morphologic and pathophysiologic information during a single examination.
Key wordsdipyridamole transesophageal echocardiography
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