Visual assessment vs. strain imaging for the detection of critical stenosis of the left anterior descending coronary artery in patients without a history of myocardial infarction

Ivan Stankovic, Biljana Putnikovic, Radosava Cvjetan, Predrag Milicevic, Milos Panic, Tijana Kalezic-Radmili, Tijana Mandaric, Radosav Vidakovic, Vojkan Cvorovic, Aleksandar N Neskovic
European Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging 2015, 16 (4): 402-9

AIMS: We sought to determine the prevalence of overt and subclinical LV dysfunction in patients with critical left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) stenosis but without a history of myocardial infarction and to compare diagnostic value of routine echocardiographic parameters with myocardial strain analysis for detection of critical LAD stenosis.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We retrospectively studied 269 patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD)-209 consecutive patients with critical LAD stenosis and 60 consecutive patients with atypical chest pain and without CAD. Conventional visual assessment of LV asynergy in the LAD territory was compared with global, regional, and segmental peak systolic longitudinal strain (PSLS) parameters derived by two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (2D STE). Wall motion abnormalities in the LAD territory were found in 41% of patients with critical LAD stenosis, whereas, depending on the cut-off value, global longitudinal strain (GLS) was impaired in 42-69% of patients. GLS with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.85 showed better discriminative power for detecting critical LAD stenosis than conventional wall motion score index (AUC 0.73, P < 0.05, for the difference between the AUCs). PSLS values were significantly lower in basal and midventricular segments supplied by critically narrowed LAD, particularly if they also appeared dysfunctional on visual assessment.

CONCLUSIONS: Detection of subclinical LV dysfunction by 2D STE might improve identification of patients with critical LAD stenosis, although visually apparent regional LV dysfunction in the LAD territory is not uncommon finding in this subset of patients.

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