Myocardial contrast two-dimensional echocardiography: comparison of contrast disappearance rates in normal and underperfused myocardium.
A computer algorithm was developed and applied to measure brightness decay rates of myocardial contrast opacification observed with two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE). An agitated mixture of diatrizoate meglumine and saline (Renografin-saline) was injected into the left main coronary artery of 17 closed-chest dogs during the control state as well as after placement of an intracoronary plug to induce 85% stenosis in the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) in five dogs. In 12 dogs, injections were also performed distally to complete intracoronary balloon occlusion of the LAD. For each injection, up to 35 electrocardiographic-gated, end-diastolic 2DE frames were digitized into an image-processing computer that determined mean pixel brightness of each of 12 myocardial segments per 2DE short-axis cross-section. Time-activity curves for each segment were generated, and contrast decay half-life (t 1/2) was calculated. Mean t 1/2 for control-state injections was found to be 24.1 +/- 7.7 sec, as opposed to 293.8 +/- 164.5 sec after complete coronary occlusion (p less than .001). In the five dogs in which 85% LAD stenosis was induced, prolongation of contrast t 1/2 from 18.3 +/- 8.9 sec during control to 44.3 +/- 21.0 sec (p less than .001) after plug insertion occurred in myocardial segments subserved by the stenosed vessel. No significant change occurred in segments that were not supplied by the stenosed vessel (21.9 +/- 9.1 sec during control vs 24.9 +/- 11.6 after plug insertion into the LAD). A reproducibility study of injection-to-injection t 1/2 in the control state indicated a correlation coefficient of r = .84 and a standard error of the estimate (SEE) equal to 5.86 sec, while interobserver t 1/2 reproducibility was r = .91 and SEE = 5.21 sec. The t 1/2 measurement derived by computer analysis of myocardial contrast 2DE may serve as an index for characterization of regional myocardial blood flow and may be applicable to evaluate interventions that alter perfusion.
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association