Noninvasive measurement of coronary artery blood flow using combined two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1987 Nov;10(5):1024-31. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(87)80342-x.


Noninvasive measurement of left anterior descending coronary artery flow was attempted in 20 normal subjects and 80 patients with cardiovascular disease (valvular heart disease in 34, ischemic heart disease in 26, cardiomyopathy in 15 and other diseases in 5) using combined two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography. A tubular structure about 2 mm in diameter containing Doppler flow signals was identified in the anterior interventricular sulcus in 7 (35%) of the normal subjects and 40 (50%) of the patients with cardiovascular disease. The blood flow within the tubular structure exhibited a biphasic flow pattern, consisting of systolic and diastolic phases with higher velocity during diastole. The highest velocities were observed in early diastole and, in several cases, a small peak was detected during the atrial contraction phase. On the basis of its spatial orientation and characteristic flow pattern, the tubular structure was identified as the midportion of the left anterior descending coronary artery. In a number of cases it was difficult to detect the systolic blood flow. Although blood flow was normally directed from the cardiac base to the apex, it was reversed toward the base in the patients with a bypass graft to the left anterior descending coronary artery. In patients with severe aortic insufficiency, however, flow velocity was lower during diastole than during systole and the duration of diastolic flow was reduced, failing to continue to the end of diastole. Flow velocity was high in patients with a bypass graft to the left anterior descending coronary artery, aortic stenosis or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / physiopathology
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Cardiomegaly / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Coronary Artery Bypass
  • Coronary Circulation*
  • Coronary Vessels*
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged