To examine the effects of dobutamine on pulsed-Doppler left ventricular filling indices and its utility for evaluation of CAD we studied 14 patients with normal coronary arteries (Group 1) and 39 patients with significant CAD (>70% diameter stenosis). Patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) were divided into two groups: patients with one-vessel coronary disease (Group 2); and those with multivessel CAD (Group 3). After stopping cardioactive treatment, patients underwent incremental dobutamine stress (5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 microg/kg/min) during pulsed-Doppler interrogation of diastolic filling with simultaneous heart rate and blood pressure measurements. The following transmitral Doppler variables were measured at baseline and at peak-dose of dobutamine: peak early (E) and peak atrial (A) velocity; E/A ratio; acceleration time (AT) and deceleration time (DT) of E wave; isovolumic relaxation time (IVRT); and time-velocity integral (TVI). Two-dimensional echocardiography was performed to detect regional asinergy and analyzed using a 16 segment model.
Results: Normals and CAD patients showed comparable changes in heart rate and blood pressure (P=NS between groups). Intergroup analysis of the changes of transmitral flow showed the significant changes for these indices (P<0.001): E velocity (-2.78+/-10.04, 12.4+/-9.4 and 16.47+/-10.65 cm/s); AT of E wave (1.66+/-2.47, -5.2+/-1.38 and -4.66+/-2.39 m/s(2)); DT of E wave (-0.23+/-0.18, 0.2+/-0.2 and 0.2+/-0.28 m/s(2)); and TVI of transmitral flow (-1.26+/-0.7, 3.5+/-1.75 and 4.1+/-1.66 cm), respectively for Groups 1, 2 and 3. All other transmitral Doppler variables showed insignificant changes (P=NS) to dobutamine between groups. It is important that the significance of these changes were the same for patients with one-vessel and those with multivessel coronary disease. In conclusion, during dobutamine stress testing, patients with CAD, had an abnormal response of these transmitral Doppler indices: E wave; AT of E wave; DT of E wave; and the TVI of transmitral flow. The abnormal responses of these Doppler indices of left ventricular filling are more accurate markers of significant single vessel CAD than new wall motion abnormalities during conventional DSE.