Objectives: The goal of this study was to determine, in patients with a recent myocardial infarction (MI) and residual wall motion abnormalities within the distribution of the infarct-related artery, whether normal perfusion by myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) would accurately predict recovery of segmental left ventricular (LV) function.
Background: Left ventricular dysfunction after acute MI may be secondary to myocardial stunning or necrosis. Recent technical innovations in contrast echocardiography, including pulse inversion imaging and power Doppler, now allow full-motion echocardiographic perfusion assessment from a venous injection of fluorocarbon-based contrast agent.
Methods: Thirty-four patients with recent MI underwent baseline wall motion assessment and MCE two days after admission and follow-up echocardiography a mean of 55 days later.
Results: Perfusion by MCE predicted recovery of segmental function with a sensitivity of 77%, specificity of 83%, positive predictive value of 90% and overall accuracy of 79%. The mean wall motion score at follow-up was significantly better in perfused, compared with nonperfused, segments (1.4 vs. 2.2, p < 0.0001). Additionally, 90% of perfused segments improved, while the majority of nonperfused segments remained unchanged.
Conclusions: Full-motion MCE utilizing an intravenous fluorocarbon-based agent and pulse inversion power Doppler techniques, identifies stunned myocardium, and accurately predicts recovery of segmental LV function in patients with recent MI.