Skip to main content

01.12.2019 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Critical Care 1/2019

Feasibility of myocardial perfusion assessment with contrast echocardiography: can it improve recognition of significant coronary artery disease in the ICU?

Critical Care > Ausgabe 1/2019
Sam Orde, Michel Slama, Faraz Pathan, Stephen Huang, Anthony Mclean
Wichtige Hinweise

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



Diagnosis of significant coronary artery disease (CAD) and acute coronary artery occlusion in ICU can be difficult, and an inappropriate intervention is potentially harmful. Myocardial contrast perfusion echo (MCPE) examines ultrasound contrast intensity replenishment curves in individual myocardial segments measuring peak contrast intensity and slope of return as an index of myocardial blood flow (units = intensity of ultrasound per second [dB/s]). MCPE could possibly serve as a triage tool to invasive angiography by estimating blood flow in the myocardium. We sought to assess feasibility in the critically ill and if MCPE could add incremental value to the clinical acumen in predicting significant CAD.


This is a single-centre, prospective, observational study. Inclusion criteria were as follows: adult ICU patients with troponin I > 50 ng/L and cardiology referral being made for consideration of inpatient angiography. Exclusion criteria were as follows: poor echo windows (2 patients), known ischaemic heart disease, and contrast contraindications. Seven cardiologists and 6 intensivists blinded to outcome assessed medical history, ECG, troponin, and 2D echo images to estimate likelihood of significant CAD needing intervention (clinical acumen). Clinical acumen, quantitative MCPE, and subjective (visual) MCPE were assessed to predict significant CAD.


Forty patients underwent MCPE analysis, 6 (15%) had significant CAD, and median 11 of 16 segments (IQR 8–13) could be imaged (68.8% [IQR 50–81]). No adverse events occurred. A significant difference was found in overall MCPE blood flow estimation between those diagnosed with significant CAD and those without (3.3 vs 2.4 dB/s, p = 0.050). A MCPE value of 2.8 dB/s had 67% sensitivity and 88% specificity in detecting significant CAD. Clinical acumen showed no association in prediction of CAD (OR 0.6, p = 0.09); however, if quantitative or visual MCPE analysis was included, a significant association occurred (OR 17.1, p = 0.01; OR 23.0, p = 0.01 respectively).


MCPE is feasible in the critically ill and shows better association with predicting significant CAD vs clinical acumen alone. MCPE adds incremental value to initial assessment of the presence of significant CAD which may help guide those who require urgent angiography.
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1/2019

Critical Care 1/2019 Zur Ausgabe

Neu im Fachgebiet AINS

Mail Icon II Newsletter

Bestellen Sie unseren kostenlosen Newsletter Update AINS und bleiben Sie gut informiert – ganz bequem per eMail.