Prognostic Value of Dipyridamole Stress Myocardial Contrast Echocardiography: Comparison With Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography

Dana Dawson, Sanjiv Kaul, Dawn Peters, Diana Rinkevich, Gregory Schnell, J. Todd Belcik, Kevin Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background: Dipyridamole stress myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) can be used to detect coronary artery disease (CAD). Because it measures myocardial blood flow velocity in addition to measuring myocardial blood volume, it was hypothesized that it should have greater prognostic utility than single photon-emission computed tomography (SPECT), which measures only myocardial blood volume. Because blood flow mismatch precedes wall thickening (WT) abnormalities during demand ischemia, it was also postulated that perfusion on MCE would be superior to WT abnormalities on echocardiography for this purpose. Methods: The incidence of nonfatal myocardial infarction and cardiac death was determined in 261 patients with known or suspected CAD over a mean follow-up period of 14 months who underwent simultaneous dipyridamole stress MCE and 99mTc-sestamibi SPECT. Comparisons of survival curves were conducted with stratified (and unstratified) log-rank tests. Results: Abnormal results on MCE were found to be the best predictor of an adverse outcome (odds ratio, 23; 95% confidence interval, 6-201; P < .0001) and provided incremental prognostic value over clinical variables (age > 60 years, the presence of ≥3 cardiac risk factors, known peripheral vascular disease, prior myocardial infarction, and left ventricular systolic function), inducible WT abnormalities, and SPECT. Prognoses were worst in patients who had both abnormal results on MCE and inducible WT abnormalities and best in those who had neither. Patients with abnormal results on MCE but no inducible WT abnormalities had intermediate outcomes. Conclusion: In patients with known or suspected CAD undergoing dipyridamole stress, MCE provides powerful prognostic information that is superior to clinical variables, electrocardiography, left ventricular systolic function, WT analysis, and SPECT. MCE may therefore serve as a method of choice for myocardial perfusion assessment in patients with known or suspected CAD. Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)954-960
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Chronic coronary artery disease
  • Dipyridamole
  • Myocardial contrast echocardiography
  • Outcome
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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