Objectives: We sought to evaluate the effects of combined administration of infra-low dose dipyridamole and low dose dobutamine on assessment of myocardial viability.
Background: Low dose pharmacologic stress echocardiography with either dobutamine or dipyridamole infusion has been proposed for the recognition of myocardial viability.
Methods: Thirty-four patients with rest wall motion dyssynergy by two-dimensional echocardiography and with angiographically proved coronary artery disease underwent in combination with two-dimensional echocardiographic monitoring: 1) low dose (5 to 10 microgram/kg per min over 3 min) dobutamine infusion; 2) infra-low dose (0.28 mg/kg over 4 min) dipyridamole infusion; 3) combination of infra-low dose dipyridamole infusion immediately followed by low dose dobutamine infusion (combined dipyridamole-dobutamine).
Results: Follow-up rest echocardiography was available in 30 patients. After revascularization, 82 segments showed a contractile improvement of > or = 1 grade, whereas 63 segments remained unchanged. The sensitivity of dobutamine, dipyridamole and combined dipyridamole-dobutamine for predicting recovery was 72% (95% confidence interval [CI] 60.9% to 81.3%), 67% (CI 55.8% to 77%) and 94% (CI 86.3% to 97.9%), respectively. The specificity of dipyridamole, dobutamine and combined dipyridamole-dobutamine was 95% (CI 86.7% to 99%), 92% (CI 82.4% to 97.3%) and 89% (CI 78.4% to 95.4%), respectively. The accuracy of the dobutamine, dipyridamole and combined dipyridamole-dobutamine test was 80%, 79% and 92%, respectively (combined dipyridamole-dobutamine vs. dobutamine, p < 0.05; combined dipyridamole-dobutamine vs. dipyridamole, p < 0.01).
Conclusions: Infra-low dose dipyridamole added to low dose dobutamine recruits an inotropic reserve in asynergic segments that were nonresponders after either dobutamine or dipyridamole alone and destined to recover after revascularization.