Assessment of flow velocity reserve by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography and venous adenosine infusion before and after left anterior descending coronary artery stenting

F Pizzuto, P Voci, E Mariano, P E Puddu, G Sardella, A Nigri
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2001, 38 (1): 155-62

OBJECTIVES: We sought to evaluate whether coronary flow velocity reserve (CFR) (the ratio between hyperemic and baseline peak flow velocity), as measured by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography during adenosine infusion, allows detection of flow changes in the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) before and after stenting.

BACKGROUND: The immediate post-stenting evaluation of CFR by intracoronary Doppler has shown mixed results, due to reactive hyperemia and microvascular stunning. Noninvasive coronary Doppler echocardiography may be a more reliable measure than intracoronary Doppler.

METHODS: Transthoracic Doppler echocardiography during 90-s venous adenosine infusion (140 microg/kg body weight per min) was used to measure CFR of the LAD in 45 patients before and 3.7 +/- 2 days after successful stenting, as well as in 25 subjects with an angiographically normal LAD (control group).

RESULTS: Adequate Doppler spectra were obtained in 96% of the patients. Pre-stent CFR was significantly lower in patients than in control subjects (diastolic CFR: 1.45 +/- 0.5 vs. 2.72 +/- 0.71, p < 0.01; systolic CFR: 1.61 +/- 1.02 vs. 2.41 +/- 0.68, p < 0.01) and increased toward the normal range after stenting (diastolic CFR: 2.58 +/- 0.7 vs. 2.72 +/- 0.75, p = NS; systolic CFR: 2.43 +/- 1.01 vs. 2.41 +/- 0.52, p = NS). Diastolic CFR was often damped, suggesting coronary steal in patients with > or =90% versus <90% LAD stenosis (0.86 +/- 0.23 vs. 1.69 +/- 0.43, p < 0.01). Coronary stenting normalized diastolic CFR in these two groups (2.45 +/- 0.77 and 2.64 +/- 0.69, respectively, p = NS), even though impaired diastolic CFR persisted in three of four patients with > or =90% stenosis. Stenosis of the LAD was better discriminated by diastolic (F = 49.30) than systolic (F = 12.20) CFR (both p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Coronary flow reserve, as measured by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography, is impaired in LAD disease; it may identify patients with > or =90% stenosis; and it normalizes early after stenting, even in patients with > or =90% stenosis.

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