Author + information
- Received September 4, 1991
- Revision received November 20, 1991
- Accepted December 10, 1991
- Published online May 1, 1992.
- Sharon S. Karr, MD∗,
- Ira A. Parness, MD,
- Philip J. Spevak, MD,
- Mary E. van der Velde, MD,
- Steven D. Colan, MD, FACC and
- Stephen P. Sanders, MD∗
- ↵∗Address for reprints: Stephen P. Sanders, MD. Department ot Cardiology, Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.
Background. Anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary trunk is difficult to diagnose reliably by two-dimensional echocardiography. Therefore, Doppler color flow mapping was tested in 29 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy or anomalous left coronary artery, or both.
Methods and Results. All patients with anomalous left coronary artery (10 patients) or dilated cardiomyopathy (27 patients) (excluding those with other known causes for cardiomyopathy) examined between January 1988 and May 1991 were identified. The direction of flow in the three main segments of the left coronary system was determined by Doppler color flow mapping. In all 10 patients with anomalous left coronary artery, flow mapping demonstrated an abnormal jet from the left coronary artery into the pulmonary trunk and retrograde flow in at least two segments of the left coronary system. The diagnosis was confirmed in all 10 patients at operation.
Doppler color flow mapping, performed in 19 of the 27 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, demonstrated anterograde flow in at least one segment of the left coronary system in 16 of the 19 patients; flow direction was not determined in the other 3 patients. Coronary artery anatomy was confirmed by aortic root or left ventricular angiography in 14 patients and at autopsy in 1 patient and was not directly confirmed in 4 patients. Left ventricular function spontaneously improved to normal in three of the latter four patients, a clinical course not consistent with anomalous left coronary artery.
The left coronary artery appeared to arise from the aortic root by two-dimensional echocardiographic imaging alone in all patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and in 5 of 10 patients with anomalous left coronary artery (50% false negative diagnoses).
Conclusions. Detection of an abnormal jet into the pulmonary trunk and retrograde flow in the left coronary system by Doppler color flow mapping is reliable for diagnosing anomalous left coronary artery whereas two-dimensional echocardiographic imaging alone is often inconclusive or misleading. Determining flow direction in the left coronary system in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy is useful for excluding anomalous left coronary artery but is technically more difficult to document in this condition than in anomalous left coronary artery.
- Received September 4, 1991.
- Revision received November 20, 1991.
- Accepted December 10, 1991.