Stress echocardiography with transesophageal atrial pacing: preliminary report of a new method for detection of ischemic wall motion abnormalities.
We performed two-dimensional echocardiography in 19 patients with significant coronary artery disease and in six normal volunteers at rest and during transesophageal atrial pacing. Technically adequate resting echocardiograms were obtained in 18 of the 19 patients and in all six normal volunteers. In two subjects, atrial capture was not possible, and in one subject, discomfort from the pacing at the beginning of the study precluded its completion. In all subjects (n = 21) who completed the protocol satisfactory two-dimensional echocardiograms were obtained during pacing. Wall motion was normal at rest and during atrial pacing in five normal volunteers. New transient wall motion abnormalities developed in 13 of the 16 patients during pacing. Twelve of the 13 patients had significant coronary lesions in the coronary arteries supplying the abnormal wall segment. Only three of the patients developed significant ST segment depression during pacing. We conclude that stress echocardiography with transesophageal atrial pacing is safe and practical and can be used in patients who cannot perform dynamic exercise, this technique can detect ischemic segmental wall motion abnormalities corresponding to the distribution of coronary arterial obstruction, and the technique provides high-quality echocardiographic images during stress and thus may expand the usefulness of resting two-dimensional echocardiography in patients who have ischemic heart disease.
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