Objective: The aim was to evaluate the applicability of myocardial contrast echocardiography in the measurement of coronary flow reserve.
Methods: Eleven anaesthetised open chest pigs were studied, in which coronary atherosclerosis had been induced by abrasion of the left anterior descending coronary artery at one month, followed by an atherogenic diet for eight months. Coronary flow reserve was determined by electromagnetic flow measurement and contrast echocardiography before and after partial occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery, using papaverine as a coronary vasodilator. Coronary blood flow was reduced by tightening a clamp placed around the coronary artery. Systemic haemodynamics and myocardial wall thickness (epicardial ultrasound 5 MHz transducer) were recorded simultaneously. Echocardiograms were recorded on VHS tape and analysed by digitised videodensitometry off line for construction of the time v videointensity curve (time-intensity curves). From these curves washout time (T50), area under the curve, peak contrast intensity, and time to peak intensity were calculated.
Results: Following papaverine, coronary blood flow increased significantly from 47 (SD 23) ml·min-1 at baseline to 88(39) ml·min-1 (p<0. ()5). During the stenosis, flow decreased to 19(16) ml·min-1 (p<0.0l), and increased to 38(29) ml·min-1 (p<0.05 v stenosis) after administration of papaverine. Correlations between coronary blood flow and indices calculated from the quantitative videodensitometric analysis were poor, varying between r=0.03 for area at control flow to r=0.62 for T50 during stenosis. The same was true for coronary flow reserve: r=0.09 for peak to r=0.75 (p<0.05) for time to peak without the stenosis.
Conclusions: Current limitations in injection, imaging, and analysis techniques cause variability in data from time-intensity curves, which precludes accurate quantification of coronary flow (reserve) by myocardial contrast echocardiography.

Coronary blood flow, Myocardial contrast echo, Papaverine
dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/26.1.32, hdl.handle.net/1765/107235
Cardiovascular Research
Department of Cardiology

ten Cate, F.J, Silverman, P.R, Sassen, L.M, & Verdouw, P.D. (1992). Can myocardial contrast echo determine coronary flow reserve?. Cardiovascular Research, 26(1), 32–39. doi:10.1093/cvr/26.1.32