Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the value of real-time myocardial contrast echocardiography (RT-MCE) for detecting coronary microcirculation (CM) function in coronary artery disease (CAD) patients.
Methods: Sixty-five consecutive patients were divided into CAD (n=52) and no-CAD (n=13) groups using coronary angiography (CAG). All patients underwent RT-MCE at rest and CAG within 1 week after RT-MCE. The ventricular segments in CAD patients were divided semi-quantitatively into ischemic and non-ischemic myocardial groups based on RT-MCE images. Myocardial blood volume (A), myocardial blood flow velocity (β), and mean myocardial blood flow (Aβ) were obtained. The Gensini scores were calculated for CAD patients. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve areas of A, β, and Aβ were calculated to assess CM function in CAD patients.
Results: A total of 798 and 204 segments were investigated in the CAD and non-CAD groups, respectively. In CAD patients, 332 ischemic and 466 non-ischemic segments were identified. The values of A, β, and Aβ were significantly different among non-CAD, CAD, ischemic, and non-ischemic groups. ROC curve areas of A, β, and Aβ were 0.85, 0.79, and 0.83, respectively, and significant differences were observed in these values among three Gensini score groups of the CAD patients.
Conclusion: Varying degrees of CM function deterioration was observed in CAD patients both in ischemic and non-ischemic areas, with the deterioration being more sever in the former.