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Transthoracic echocardiography for imaging of the different coronary artery segments: a feasibility study

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Author(s): Vegsundvåg Johnny | Holte Espen | Wiseth Rune | Hegbom Knut | Hole Torstein

Journal: Cardiovascular Ultrasound
ISSN 1476-7120

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 58;
Date: 2009;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) may be used for direct inspection of various parts of the main coronary arteries for detection of coronary stenoses and occlusions. We aimed to assess the feasibility of TTE to visualise the complete segments of the left main (LM), left descending (LAD), circumflex (Cx) and right (RCA) coronary arteries. Methods One hundred and eleven patients scheduled for diagnostic coronary angiography because of chest pain or acute coronary syndrome had a TTE study to map the passage of the main coronary arteries. LAD, Cx and RCA were each divided into proximal, middle and distal segments. If any part of the individual segment of a coronary artery with antegrade blood flow was not visualised, the segment was labeled as not satisfactorily seen. Results Complete imaging of the LM was achieved in 98% of the patients. With antegrade directed coronary artery flow, the proximal, middle and distal segments of LAD were completely seen in 96%, 95% and 91% of patients, respectively. Adding the completely seen segments with antegrade coronary flow and segments with retrograde coronary flow, the proximal, middle and distal segments of LAD were adequately visualised in 96%, 96% and 93% of patients, respectively. With antegrade directed coronary artery flow, the proximal, middle and distal segments of Cx were completely seen in 88%, 61% and 3% and in RCA in 40%, 28% and 54% of patients. Retrograde coronary artery flow was correctly identified as verified by coronary angiography in seven coronary segments, mainly in the posterior descending artery (labeled as the distal segment of RCA) and distal LAD. Conclusions TTE is a feasible method for complete demonstration of coronary flow in the LM, the proximal Cx and the different segments of LAD, but less suitable for the RCA and mid and distal segments of the Cx. (ClinicalTrials.gov number NTC00281346.)
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Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona