Disruption in the temporal sequence of regional ventricular contraction. I. Characteristics and incidence in coronary artery disease.
While spatial asynergy at end-systole has been well characterized in patients with coronary artery disease, assessment of regional asynchrony has been hampered by technical constraints. We developed a computer-assisted method for analyzing regional asynchrony from the equilibrium (ECG-gated) radionuclide ventriculogram. Twenty patients with normal contrast left ventriculograms (nine with a normal coronary arteriogram [group 1] and 11 with coronary artery disease [group 2]) and 20 patients with asynergy during contrast ventriculography (group 3) were studied. The earliest evidence of regional asynchrony occurred in early systole. Regional ejection fraction at one-third systole was 0.32 +/- 0.02 (mean +/- SEM) in group 1, 0.22 +/- 0.01 in group 2 (p less than 0.001) and 0.12 +/- 0.01 in asynergic regions in group 3 patients (p less than 0.001). In group 3, severe forms of regional asynchrony appeared in both early systole and early diastole: five patients (25%) had early systolic paradox, 13 (65%) had regional prolongation of peak ejection fraction and 16 (80%) had reduced percent peak ejection fraction at global end-systole. It appears, therefore, that there is progressively increasing regional asynchrony in patients with increasing severity of coronary artery disease.
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