Effects of acute, transient coronary occlusion on global and regional right ventricular function in humans

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1992 Dec;20(7):1490-7. doi: 10.1016/0735-1097(92)90441-o.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the changes in right ventricular function during acute coronary occlusion produced by inflating a coronary angioplasty balloon catheter.

Background: Alterations in right ventricular function are well known to occur in patients with acute myocardial infarction or ischemic cardiomyopathy. However, the changes in right ventricular function resulting from acute, transient coronary occlusion of each of the major coronary arteries have been scantily studied, perhaps because of serious limitations of currently available technology.

Methods: A newly designed, mobile, multiwire gamma camera, in combination with generator-produced tantalum-178, affords high count rate first-pass radionuclide angiography and is thus ideal for studying right ventricular function at the bedside. Accordingly, 46 patients underwent first-pass radionuclide angiography at baseline and during transient coronary occlusion induced by a coronary angioplasty balloon catheter.

Results: A significant, albeit modest, decrease in global right ventricular ejection fraction occurred during occlusion of the left anterior descending (from 42.9 +/- 9.3% to 39 +/- 8.7%, p < 0.05) and left circumflex (from 44 +/- 9.1% to 38.8 +/- 7.9%, p = 0.03) coronary arteries, but diagonal artery occlusion caused no significant change in right ventricular ejection fraction. Occlusion of the right coronary artery proximal (but not distal) to the acute marginal branch caused a significant decrease in right ventricular ejection fraction (from 42.6 +/- 4.7% to 35.7 +/- 7.2%, p < 0.01). Although occlusion of the left anterior descending, left circumflex and proximal right coronary arteries all caused significant deterioration in regional right ventricular function, only proximal right coronary occlusion caused right ventricular dilation (p < 0.005).

Conclusions: Significant impairment of right ventricular function occurs during transient occlusion of the left anterior descending, left circumflex and proximal right coronary arteries, but only occlusion of the latter causes acute right ventricular dilation, probably as a result of ischemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / adverse effects*
  • Coronary Vessels / physiopathology*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Gamma Cameras
  • Gated Blood-Pool Imaging / instrumentation
  • Gated Blood-Pool Imaging / methods
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Myocardial Ischemia / etiology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Observer Variation
  • Radioisotopes
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tantalum
  • Ventricular Function, Left*
  • Ventricular Function, Right


  • Radioisotopes
  • Tantalum