Author + information
- Received July 6, 1987
- Revision received September 23, 1987
- Accepted October 7, 1987
- Published online March 1, 1988.
- Pamela S. Douglas, MD, FACC∗,
- John Fiolkoski,
- Barbara Berko, MD and
- Nathaniel Reichek, MD, FACC
- ↵∗Address for reprints: Pamela S. Doughlas, MD, Cardiovascular Section, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104.
In the light of technologic advances and the development of new imaging planes, the feasibility of two-dimensional echocardiographic visualization of coronary artery anatomy was reevaluated in the adult. Thirty-five subjects were studied using an ultrasonograph equipped with a 3.5 and 5.0 MHz annular array transducer, digital processing and cine loop review. There were 18 normal subjects and 17 patients with heart disease, including 9 patients with valvular, 5 patients with coronary, 2 patients with congenital and 1 patient with cardiomyopathic disease. The mean age was 47 ± 18 years (range 17 to 79). Modifications of standard parasternal and apical views permitted high quality images of portions of each of the major epicardial vessels adequate for assessment of luminal diameter.
The left main coronary artery was seen in 30 (86%) of the 35 subjects and its bifurcation was seen in 15. The left anterior descending coronary artery was seen in 30 subjects (mean length 3.9 ± 2.3 cm, maximal length 7.5), the left circumflex artery in 11 (1.1 ± 1.0, maximal 3.0) and the right coronary artery in 32 (5.6 ± 2.6, maximal 12). Proximal and mid portions of the left anterior descending artery were seen in 23 and 11 subjects, respectively. The average proximal length visualized was 4.2 cm, and the average luminal diameter visualized was 4.9 mm. The average length of the mid left anterior descending coronary artery seen was 1.9 cm and the average luminal diameter seen was 4.6 mm. The proximal right coronary artery was seen in 17 subjects (average visualized length 2.7 cm and average diameter 3.1 mm). Portions of the mid right coronary artery were seen in 24 subjects (average length 3.6 cm and average diameter 3.1 mm). An average of 2.9 cm of the distal right coronary artery was seen in 18 subjects (average diameter 2.7 mm). Septal or diagonal branches were seen in 11 (31%) of the 35 subjects, a marginal branch in 1, the coronary sinus in all and smaller veins in 3. Coronary artery lesions were correctly identified in four of five subjects (two in the left anterior descending, one in the left main and one in the right coronary artery), but these were obscured in one subject by a calcified aortic valve.
Improved instrumentation combined with new imaging techniques permits extensive visualization of the adult coronary vasculature. The clinical utility of this technique for the noninvasive evaluation of coronary artery disease remains to be determined.
- Received July 6, 1987.
- Revision received September 23, 1987.
- Accepted October 7, 1987.