Echocardiographic detection of left main coronary artery obstruction.
Advances in two-dimensional echocardiography have improved the prospects of using this technique to detect left main coronary artery (LMCA) obstruction. Using an echocardiograph that had digital gray scale, a 3-MHz transducer and strobe freeze-frame capability and reviewing recordings on an off-line videotape-videodisc analyzer, we retrospectively examined the LMCA in 72 patients who underwent coronary cineangiography. Angiography showed 50% or greater LMCA obstruction in seven patients. All seven had high-intensity echoes in the walls of the LMCA. The high-intensity echoes were irregularly located in the artery and partially occluded it. The LMCA could frequently be recorded proximal and distal to the obstruction. A blinded observer reviewed 28 randomly selected patients from this group and correctly identified the four patients with LMCA obstruction. There was one true and two questionable false-positive diagnoses. In a prospective study of 31 patients, two independent observers correctly identified the three patients with LMCA obstruction. There were no false negatives, and one observer had one false positive. All of the false positives were in patients with proximal left anterior descending coronary artery obstructions. Echocardiography may be a practical means of identifying patients with the LMCA obstruction.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association