Masugata, H., B. Cotter, B. Peters, K. Ohmori, K. Mizushige and A. N. DeMaria. Assessment of coronary stenosis severity and transmural perfusion gradient by myocardial contrast echocardiography - Comparison of gray-scale B-mode with power Doppler imaging. Circulation. 102:1427-1433, 2000.

Background-The present study (1) compared the ability of power Doppler imaging with that of gray-scale B-mode tissue imaging to opacify the myocardium and detect coronary stenosis by myocardial contrast echocardiography and (2) compared the response of video intensity (VI) to variable pulsing intervals for each modality.Methods and Results-Four grades of left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) stenoses were created in 9 open-chest dogs. Stenoses reduced resting LAD flow by 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of baseline by flow probe. Myocardial contrast echocardiography was performed during varying ECG gated pulsing intervals (PIs) from 1:1 to 1:10. By gray-scale imaging, background-subtracted LAD bed VI was less than baseline VI at all PIs for the 100% reduced-flow state but not for any other flow state or interval. By power Doppler imaging, LAD bed VI was less than baseline VI at all intervals for 75% and 100% reduced-flow states but only 1:1 and 1.2 for 25% and 50% reduced-flow states, respectively. Correlation of VI and myocardial blood flow (determined by use of fluorescent microspheres) ratios from stenosed versus normal beds was stronger by power Doppler imaging. A transmural opacification gradient with stenosis was visualized and measured by power Doppler imaging, but it was insignificant by gray-scale imaging. The ratio of endocardial/epicardial flow determined by use of fluorescent microspheres was correlated with VI by power Doppler imaging at all PIs.Conclusions-Power Doppler imaging has advantages compared with gray-scale imaging in opacifying the myocardium and in detecting coronary stenosis and altered transmural distribution of myocardial perfusion from peak VI, Because; VI differences from baseline at long PI vary for mild versus severe (75% and 100%, respectively) reduced-flow states, power Doppler imaging may provide a method to quantify coronary stenoses.