Epicardial coronary artery Doppler: Validation in the animal model
The aim of the study was to validate a newly-designed epicardial coronary artery Doppler probe and test its detection of changes in coronary blood flow velocity. Left anterior descending (LAD) coronary blood flow and flow velocity were evaluated in four pigs with a pericoronary transit time flow (TTF) probe and a newly-designed epicardial Doppler micro-probe. Four consecutive measurements were taken for each of the following conditions: basal, partial stenosis, occlusion, and reperfusion of the LAD. Mean TTF value (mlymin) was 23.2±6.6 in basal condition, 16.2±5.7 after partial LAD stenosis, 0.1±0.3 during LAD occlusion, and 67.4±23.3 at reperfusion (P<0.001). Similar patterns were recorded in terms of Doppler velocity (cmys) with values of 4.0±1.9 in basal condition, 3.5±2.3 after partial LAD stenosis, 0.5±1.4 during LAD occlusion, and 11.1±5.5 at reperfusion (P<0.001). No significant differences in both TTF and Doppler velocity were detected between basal condition and partial LAD stenosis (Psns). Epicardial coronary arterial Doppler represents a valuable tool to detect coronary arterial flow velocity in basal condition. Although changes in flow velocity are easily recorded after coronary occlusion and reperfusion, modifications after partial coronary stenosis are not clearly defined.