Hypothesis: Myocardial perfusion can be analyzed by the first pass of Doppler intensity (DI) signals in the myocardium by myocardial contrast echocardiography with triggered power Doppler harmonic imaging (PDHI). Methods and results: DI versus time plots during 1:1 triggering was acquired during a mechanically standardized intravenous bolus application of Levovist (400 mg ml-1; 3 ml min-1) at rest and during vasodilator stress with dipyridamole. Data were analyzed in 21 patients (pts) with normal coronary arteries and in 6 pts with left anterior descending artery (LAD) stenosis. Transthoracic distal LAD-flow velocities could be determined in 7 normal pts. At stress the DI wash-in rate and the DI plateau increased (3.14±0.3 versus 5.06±0.4 DI s-1; 24.6±2.5 versus 30.8±1.8 DI, respectively). To analyze the effect of heart rate on the DI versus time plots investigations were performed in 7 additional controls at rest and during rapid pacing. Heart rates below 100 bpm did not disturb the DI kinetics at 1:1 triggering. Conclusions: Myocardial perfusion can be assessed by the analysis of the first pass DI kinetics using Levovist. The estimation of vasodilator response by PDHI seems to be an alternative to the determination of coronary flow reserve. © 2003 The European Society of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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