Objectives: This study was designed to assess the predictive value of myocardial viability diagnosed by dobutamine transesophageal echocardiography and fluorine (F)-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography for left ventricular functional recovery after revascularization in patients with chronic left ventricular dysfunction.
Background: The identification of akinetic but viable myocardium is of particular importance for the selection of patients with a compromised left ventricle who will benefit from coronary revascularization.
Methods: Multiplane rest and dobutamine transesophageal echocardiography (dobutamine, 5 and 10 microg/min per kg) studies and F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomographic studies at rest were performed in 2 patients with 1) previous myocardial infarction and regional akinesia, 2) a stenosed infarct-related coronary artery, and 3) a patent infarct-related vessel after revascularization. A basally akinetic segment was considered viable by transesophageal echocardiography if dobutamine-induced contractile reserve could be observed. Viability by positron emission tomography was defined as F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose uptake > or = 50% of the maximal uptake in a region with normal wall motion. Recovery of regional left ventricular function 4 to 6 months after revascularization was diagnosed by transesophageal echocardiography if > or = 50% of segments akinetic at baseline had improved wall thickening.
Results: Dobutamine transesophageal echocardiography identified viable infarct regions in 25 (59%) of 42 patients, and F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in 30 (71%) of 42 patients, yielding diagnostic agreement in 86% of patients. Sensitivity and specificity for prediction of left ventricular functional recovery in individual patients was 92% and 88%, respectively, for dobutamine transesophageal echocardiography versus 96% and 69% for F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography. Segments remaining akinetic after revascularization had a significantly lower (p < 0.001) F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose uptake (48 +/- 15%) than that (73 +/- 15%) of segments with recovery of regional left ventricular function.
Conclusions: Both dobutamine transesophageal echocardiography and F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography were highly sensitive in predicting functional recovery of chronically kinetic or dyskinetic myocardium after successful revascularization. Thus, dobutamine transesophageal echocardiography is a clinically valuable alternative to F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography for assessing residual viability and predicting functional recovery after revascularization.