RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Comparison of sulfur hexafluoride microbubble (SonoVue)-enhanced myocardial contrast echocardiography with gated single-photon emission computed tomography for detection of significant coronary artery disease: a large European multicenter study.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to compare sulfur hexafluoride microbubble (SonoVue)-enhanced myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) with single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) relative to coronary angiography (CA) for assessment of coronary artery disease (CAD).

BACKGROUND: Small-scale studies have shown that myocardial perfusion assessed by SonoVue-enhanced MCE is a viable alternative to SPECT for CAD assessment. However, large multicenter studies are lacking.

METHODS: Patients referred for myocardial ischemia testing at 34 centers underwent rest/vasodilator SonoVue-enhanced flash-replenishment MCE, standard (99m)Tc-labeled electrocardiography-gated SPECT, and quantitative CA within 1 month. Myocardial ischemia assessments by 3 independent, blinded readers for MCE and 3 readers for SPECT were collapsed into 1 diagnosis per patient per technique and were compared to CA (reference standard) read by 1 independent blinded reader.

RESULTS: Of 628 enrolled patients who received SonoVue (71% males; mean age: 64 years; >1 cardiovascular [CV] risk factor in 99% of patients) 516 patients underwent all 3 examinations, of whom 161 (31.2%) had ≥70% stenosis (131 had single-vessel disease [SVD]; 30 had multivessel disease), and 310 (60.1%) had ≥50% stenosis. Higher sensitivity was obtained with MCE than with SPECT (75.2% vs. 49.1%, respectively; p < 0.0001), although specificity was lower (52.4% vs. 80.6%, respectively; p < 0.0001) for ≥70% stenosis. Similar findings were obtained for patients with ≥50% stenosis. Sensitivity levels for detection of SVD and proximal disease for ≥70% stenosis were higher for MCE (72.5% vs. 42.7%, respectively; p < 0.0001; 80% vs. 58%, respectively; p = 0.005, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: SonoVue-enhanced MCE demonstrated superior sensitivity but lower specificity for detection of CAD compared to SPECT in a population with a high incidence of CV risk factors and intermediate-high prevalence of CAD. (A phase III study to compare SonoVue® enhanced myocardial echocardiography [MCE] to single photon emission computerized tomography [ECG-GATED SPECT], at rest and at peak of low-dose Dipyridamole stress test, in the assessment of significant coronary artery disease [CAD] in patients with suspect or known CAD using Coronary Angiography as Gold Standard-SonoVue MCE vs SPECT; EUCTR2007-003492-39-GR).

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