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Am J Cardiol. 2003 Feb 1;91(3):269-73.

Usefulness of coronary flow reserve over regional wall motion when added to dual-imaging dipyridamole echocardiography.

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Cardiology Division Umberto I degrees Hospital, Mestre, Italy.


Vasodilator stress echocardiography allows semi-simultaneous imaging of left anterior descending (LAD) coronary flow and regional wall function. To assess the relative (and additive?) value of regional flow and function for noninvasive identification of angiographically assessed LAD disease in patients with chest pain syndrome, we studied 230 consecutive in-hospital patients (134 men, aged 63.5 +/- 11 years) with chest pain syndrome and normal regional and global left ventricular function. All patients underwent stress echocardiography with dipyridamole (up to 0.84 mg/kg over 10 minutes), including wall motion analysis by 2-dimensional echocardiography and coronary flow reserve (CFR) evaluation of the LAD artery by Doppler, with or without contrast injection. A new regional wall motion abnormality in >or=2 contiguous segments was required for 2-dimensional echocardiographic positivity. CFR was evaluated as the ratio of dipyridamole to peak diastolic coronary blood flow velocity at rest. All patients underwent coronary angiography within 60 days; a quantitatively assessed diameter reduction >50% of the LAD artery was considered significant. Of the 230 patients, 70 had LAD disease. A regional wall motion abnormality in LAD territory was present in 52 patients, and reduced CFR (<1.9) in 62 patients. Sensitivity for detecting LAD disease was 74% for 2-dimensional echocardiography (95% confidence interval [CI] 64% to 84%) and 81% for CFR <1.9 (95% CI 72% to 90%); specificity was 91% (95% CI 87% to 96%) for 2-dimensional echocardiography and 84% for CFR (95% CI 79% to 90%). Accuracy was 86% for 2-dimensional echocardiography (95% CI 82% to 91%) and 83.5% for CFR (95% CI 79% to 88%). When 2-dimensional echocardiography and CFR criteria were considered, sensitivity increased to 93% (95% CI 87% to 99%), with 80.6% specificity (95% CI 74.5% to 86.7%). CFR was assessed during vasodilator stress echocardiography. Its diagnostic accuracy for detecting LAD disease was comparable to regional wall motion abnormalities. However, the data for flow and function can be complementary in terms of predicting underlying angiographic anatomy, because abnormal wall motion can include coronary artery disease, and negative CFR can exclude it.

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