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Validation of minimally invasive measurement of myocardial perfusion using electron beam computed tomography and application in human volunteers


OBJECTIVES To measure myocardial perfusion using an estimate of intramyocardial vascular volume obtained by electron beam computed tomography (EBCT) in an animal model; to assess the feasibility and validity of measuring regional myocardial perfusion in human volunteers using the techniques developed and validated in the animal studies.

METHODS Measurements of myocardial perfusion with EBCT employing intravenous contrast injections were compared with radioactive microsphere measurements (flow 57 to 346 ml/100 g/min) in seven closed chest dogs. Fourteen human volunteers then underwent EBCT scans using intravenous contrast injections.

RESULTS Mean (SEM) global intramyocardial vascular volume by EBCT was 7.6 (1.1)%. The correlation between global EBCT (y) and microsphere (x) perfusion was y = 0.59x + 15.56 (r = 0.86) before, and y = 0.72x + 6.06 (r = 0.88) after correcting for intramyocardial vascular volume. Regional perfusion correlation was y = 0.75x + 23.84 (r = 0.82). Corresponding improvements in agreement between the two techniques were also seen using Bland–Altman plots. In the human subjects, mean resting global myocardial flow was 98 (6) ml/100 g/min, with homogeneous flow across all regions. In 10 of these subjects, perfusion was studied during coronary vasodilatation using intravenous adenosine. Global flow increased from 93 (5) ml/100 g/min at rest to 250 (19) ml/100 g/min during adenosine (p < 0.001), with an average perfusion reserve ratio of 2.8 (0.2). Similar changes in regional perfusion were observed and were uniform throughout all regions, with a mean regional perfusion reserve ratio of 2.8 (0.3).

CONCLUSIONS Accounting for intramyocardial vascular volume improves the accuracy of EBCT measurements of myocardial perfusion when using intravenous contrast injections. The feasibility of providing accurate measurements of global and regional myocardial perfusion and perfusion reserve in people using this minimally invasive technique has also been demonstrated.

  • electron beam computed tomography
  • cardiac imaging
  • myocardial blood flow
  • indicator dilution

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