Transesophageal Atrial Pacing during Echocardiography Exams

Prediction of the extent of coronary artery disease with the evaluation of left ventricular wall motion abnormalities during atrial pacing. A cross-sectional echocardiographic study.

Iliceto S, Papa A, D'Ambrosio G, Amico A, Sorino M, Coluccia P, Rizzon P. Int J Cardiol 1987 Jan;14(1):33-45. In patients with coronary artery disease, left ventricular performance during stress is affected by the degree of coronary stenosis. In order to verify whether there exists a relationship between the extent of wall motion abnormalities detectable during atrial pacing and the degree of coronary obstruction, 76 patients, without previous myocardial infarction, were studied. Each patient underwent cross-sectional echocardiography during transesophageal atrial pacing and exercise electrocardiography before coronary angiography. Of the 76 patients, 46 had significant coronary artery disease (stenosis greater than or equal to 75% of at least one major coronary vessel), while 30 had normal coronaries or a stenosis of less than 75%. Eighteen patients had single-, 14 had two- and 14 had three-vessel disease. For each patient a coronary score was obtained: the score used took into consideration the site, number and severity of the stenosis. This score was then correlated with the wall motion score, obtained from the analysis of 9 segments of the left ventricle. A weak correlation was obtained between wall motion score at rest and coronary score (r = -0.42), while the correlation between coronary score and the difference between wall motion score at rest and during transesophageal atrial pacing was slightly better (r = 0.53); this correlation further improved if wall motion score during pacing was considered (r = -0.63). If the patients with discordant diagnostic tests (echocardiography during transesophageal atrial pacing and exercise electrocardiography) were excluded, the correlation coefficient between coronary score and wall motion score during pacing increased even more (r = -0.77). In conclusion: (1) analysis of wall motion of the left ventricle during atrial pacing is useful for the non-invasive evaluation of the severity of coronary disease; (2) cross-sectional echocardiography during atrial pacing, apart from being a useful diagnostic tool, is also a help in judging the degree of severity of coronary artery disease.

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