Noninvasive measurement of left anterior descending coronary artery flow was attempted in 20 normal subjects and 80 patients with cardiovascular disease (valvular heart disease in 34, ischemic heart disease in 26, cardiomyopathy in 15 and other diseases in 5) using combined two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography. A tubular structure about 2 mm in diameter containing Doppler flow signals was identified in the anterior interventricular sulcus in 7 (35%) of the normal subjects and 40 (50%) of the patients with cardiovascular disease. The blood flow within the tubular structure exhibited a biphasic flow pattern, consisting of systolic and diastolic phases with higher velocity during diastole. The highest velocities were observed in early diastole and, in several cases, a small peak was detected during the atria) contraction phase. On the basis of its spatial orientation and characteristic flow pattern, the tubular structure was identified as the midportion of the left anterior descending coronary artery. In a number of cases it was difficult to detect the systolic blood flow. Although blood flow was normally directed from the cardiac base to the apex, it was reversed toward the base in the patients with a bypass graft to the left anterior descending coronary artery. In patients with severe aortic insufficiency, however, flow velocity was lower during diastole than during systole and the duration of diastolic flow was reduced, failing to continue to the end of diastole. Flow velocity was high in patients with a bypass graft to the left anterior descending coronary artery, aortic stenosis or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Normal subjects had an average peak flow velocity of 12.2 ± 2.7 cm/s (mean ± SD) during systole and 33.5 ± 5.1 cm/s during diastole, whereas patients with cardiovascular disease had a peak flow of 29.6 ± 17.4 cm/s during systole and 56.0 ± 26.8 cm/s during diastole. Thus, the present study has indeed opened a new and interesting area of noninvasive analysis of coronary artery blood flow using combined two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography. © 1987, American College of Cardiology Foundation. All rights reserved.
Fusejima, K. (1987). Noninvasive measurement of coronary artery blood flow using combined two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 10(5), 1024–1031. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0735-1097(87)80342-X