Objective: To compare real-time three-dimensional echocardiography (RT3DE) with two-dimensional dobutamine stress echocardiography (2DE) for the detection of myocardial ischaemia, with angiographic validation of the results.
Methods: 56 patients (mean (SD) age 64.5 (6.2) years, 38 males), referred for coronary angiography, were examined by 2DE and RT3DE during the same dobutamine stress protocol.
Results: All 56 patients completed the stress protocol uneventfully. The mean (SD) acquisition time for the necessary views to evaluate all segments was 26.3 (2.5) s for RT3DE and 58.8 (3.7) s for 2DE (p<0.001). At peak stress, RT3DE had a higher wall-motion score index (1.25 (0.24) by 2DE, 1.30 (0.27) by RT3DE; p = 0.014). The regional wall-motion score for the four apical segments at peak stress was compared; it was 1.35 (0.55) by 2DE and 1.52 (0.69) by RT3DE (p = 0.003). The diagnostic parameters of 2DE versus RT3DE were: sensitivity 73% vs 78%, specificity 93% vs 89% and overall accuracy 86% vs 85%, respectively. In the left anterior descending artery territory, in particular, where RT3DE had higher regional wall-motion scores, it showed a tendency towards higher sensitivity (85% vs 78%), although this difference did not achieve statistical significance.
Conclusion: RT3DE identifies wall-motion abnormalities more readily in the apical region than 2DE, which may explain the tendency towards higher sensitivity in the left anterior descending artery territory. RT3DE results were validated using angiography as reference and findings indicate diagnostic equivalence to 2DE, with the advantage of considerable shorter acquisition times.
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Published Online First 3 November 2006
Competing interests: None declared.
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