Objectives. This study tested whether the combination of dobutamine echocardiography (DE) and myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) was superior to either technique alone in identifying postischemic myocardium and in differentiating it from necrotic myocardium. Background. Wall motion abnormalities at rest occur in postischemic myocardium in the presence of infarction, stunning or hibernation, alone or in combination. Various investigators have suggested that either DE or MCE can be used to identify the presence of myocardial viability. Methods. We studied a total of 53 mongrel dogs in an open chest model of coronary occlusion of various durations followed by reperfusion and dobutamine administration (10 μg/kg body weight per in). MCE with aortic root injections of Albunex (area under the curve) and DE (percent thickening fraction) were performed at the different stages. Postmortem triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining was used to identify myocardial necrosis. Results. Thirteen dogs underwent brief (15 min) occlusions and developed no necrosis (Group I). Of 40 dogs that underwent prolonged (30 to 360 min) occlusions, 14 had no infarction (Group II), whereas 26 did (Group III: 12 papillary muscle, 7 subendocardial, 7 transmural). MCE (expressed as percent change from baseline) demonstrated changes that paralleled the blood flow changes observed by radiolabeled microspheres at all interventions (r = 0.67, p < 0.0001). Regional ventricular function improved with dobutamine administration in the ischemic region in all three groups. The sensitivity (88%) for detecting myocardial viability was superior when the two techniques were combined; however, a poor specificity (61%) was observed. Conclusions. Contractile reserve and perfusion data are complementary when assessing regional wall motion abnormalities in postischemic myocardium. DE alone cannot differentiate postischemic from infarcted myocardium; simultaneous data on myocardial perfusion are required. The combination of DE and MCE is superior to either technique alone for identifying the absence of myocardial necrosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine