Objectives: The aim of this study was to use positron emission tomography (PET)-derived carbon (C)-11 acetate kinetics to determine the effects of dobutamine on oxidative metabolism and its effects on myocardial efficiency in a group of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy.
Background: Dobutamine is known to improve myocardial function but may do so at the expense of myocardial oxygen consumption, which could be a potential deleterious effect. Carbon-11 acetate kinetics correlate with myocardial oxygen consumption as shown in animal models. Combining these scintigraphic measurements of oxygen consumption with estimates of cardiac work results in a work-metabolic index, which reflects cardiac efficiency.
Methods: Eight patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy underwent dynamic PET imaging, echocardiography and hemodynamic measurements. Seven of these patients were also studied while receiving dobutamine. Direct measurements of myocardial oxygen consumption using coronary sinus catheterization were obtained with eight of the PET studies to validate C-11 acetate in patients with cardiomyopathy.
Results: The mean (+/- SD) C-11 clearance rate significantly increased with dobutamine from 0.105 +/- 0.027 to 0.155 +/- 0.023 min-1 (p = 0.001). Directly measured myocardial oxygen consumption had a linear relation to the mean C-11 clearance rate (r = 0.8, p = 0.018). Dobutamine was noted to significantly reduce systemic vascular resistance as well as the severity of mitral regurgitation. The work-metabolic index determined using hemodynamic variables and PET data increased from 2 +/- 0.7 x 10(4) to 2.6 +/- 0.6 x 10(4) (p = 0.04). Efficiency, estimated by employing the oxygen consumption to k2 relation, also increased from 13 +/- 4.5% to 16.9 +/- 6.4% (p = 0.04).
Conclusions: Despite an increase in myocardial oxygen consumption, dobutamine led to an increase in work-metabolic index in patients with dilated nonischemic cardiomyopathy. Dobutamine reduced systemic vascular resistance and mitral regurgitation, suggesting that in this group of patients, it had important vasodilatory action in addition to its inotropic effects. The use of the C-11 acetate PET for determining myocardial oxygen consumption and estimating efficiency could potentially complement existing clinical measures of ventricular performance and may allow improved and objective evaluation of therapy in patients with heart failure.