Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Noninvasive techniques in assessing coronary artery disease

Miia Holmström

Doctoral dissertation, May 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Radiology and Biomag laboratory, Division of Cardiology.

Conventional invasive coronary angiography is the clinical gold standard for detecting of coronary artery stenoses. Noninvasive multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in combination with retrospective ECG gating has recently been shown to permit visualization of the coronary artery lumen and detection of coronary artery stenoses. Single photon emission tomography (SPECT) perfusion imaging has been considered the reference method for evaluation of nonviable myocardium, but magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can accurately depict structure, function, effusion, and myocardial viability, with an overall capacity unmatched by any other single imaging modality. Magnetocardiography (MCG) provides noninvasively information about myocardial excitation propagation and repolarization without the use of electrodes. This evolving technique may be considered the magnetic equivalent to electrocardiography.

The aim of the present series of studies was to evaluate changes in the myocardium assessed with SPECT and MRI caused by coronary artery disease, examine the capability of multidetector computed tomography coronary angiography (MDCT-CA) to detect significant stenoses in the coronary arteries, and MCG to assess remote myocardial infarctions.

Our study showed that in severe, progressing coronary artery disease laser treatment does not improve global left ventricular function or myocardial perfusion, but it does preserve systolic wall thickening in fixed defects (scar). It also prevents changes from ischemic myocardial regions to scar.

The MCG repolarization variables are informative in remote myocardial infarction, and may perform as well as the conventional QRS criteria in detection of healed myocardial infarction. These STT abnormalities are more pronounced in patients with Q-wave infarction than in patients with non-Q-wave infarctions.

MDCT-CA had a sensitivity of 82%, a specificity of 94%, a positive predictive value of 79%, and a negative predictive value of 95% for stenoses over 50% in the main coronary arteries as compared with conventional coronary angiography in patients with known coronary artery disease. Left ventricular wall dysfunction, perfusion defects, and infarctions were detected in 50-78% of sectors assigned to calcifications or stenoses, but also in sectors supplied by normally perfused coronary arteries.

Our study showed a low sensitivity (sensitivity 63%) in detecting obstructive coronary artery disease assessed by MDCT in patients with severe aortic stenosis. Massive calcifications complicated correct assessment of the lumen of coronary arteries.

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Last updated 18.04.2006

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