Myocardial contrast echocardiography has been shown to accurately assess the area at risk for necrosis after acute coronary occlusion in the experimental model. The area at risk as determined by this method, however, has been defined in different ways depending on the model used. Some investigators have injected the contrast agent proximal to the site of coronary occlusion (left main coronary artery or aorta) and defined the area at risk as the segment of myocardium not showing a contrast effect (negative risk area). Others have injected the contrast agent directly into the occluded vessel and have defined the area at risk as that showing contrast enhancement (positive risk area). To evaluate whether the areas at risk determined by these two techniques are identical, six open chest dogs were studied using both methods. The area at risk was slightly but significantly larger when the contrast agent was injected into the occluded vessel than when it was injected proximally into the left main coronary artery (4.98 ± 1.69 versus 3.97 ± 1.27 cm2, p < 0.01). It is concluded that the site of injection of the contrast agent significantly influences the determination of area at risk. Therefore, data obtained by the two techniques should not be used interchangeably, and in a given study the area at risk should be measured consistently using one technique.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine