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Eur J Echocardiogr. 2004 Mar;5(2):142-8.

Wall thickening assessment with tissue harmonic echocardiography results in improved risk stratification for patients with non-ST-segment elevation acute chest pain.

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Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 3UJ, UK.



To demonstrate whether the improved imaging quality gained by using tissue harmonic echocardiography in place of fundamental echocardiography results in the improved risk stratification of patients presenting with non-ST-elevation acute chest pain.


Eighty patients with over 30 min of non-ST-elevation chest pain that had lasted less than 6 h were recruited. All patients underwent resting tissue harmonic and fundamental echocardiographic scans. Diagnosis for acute myocardial infarction was made on a 24 h creatine kinase-MB sample. Echocardiographic images were reported by two experienced blinded observers. Patients were followed up at least 4 months after admission. Endpoints included all-cause mortality, non-fatal myocardial infarction and revascularisation procedures. Tissue harmonic echocardiography allowed assessment of all myocardial segments in all patients compared to 43/78 patients ( p<0.001 ) with fundamental echocardiography. A wall thickening abnormality demonstrated on tissue harmonic echocardiography and not fundamental echocardiography was a significant predictor of index myocardial infarction on admission ( p<0.007 ) and for an adverse cardiac event during follow up ( p=0.002 ).


Tissue harmonic echocardiography is superior to fundamental echocardiography for accurate assessment of systolic wall thickening and hence risk stratification for patients presenting with acute chest pain and non-diagnostic electrocardiogram changes.

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