Measurements of mean left ventricular (LV) and regional myocardial blood flow rates were made at rest in 161 patients with 133Xe and a multiplecrystal scintillation camera. Myocardial perfusion rates were correlated with assessments of the degree of coronary artery disease made from the arteriograms obtained during the same studies. In patients with normal coronary arteries without heart failure, the presence of hypertension, aortic stenosis, or aortic insufficiency was not associated with changes in mean LV perfusion from the control value of 61+/-7 ml/100 g-min. However, mean LV perfusion was significantly reduced in patients with normal coronary arteries who had cariomyopathy and impaired ventricular performance. Mean LV perfusion was not significantly different from control values in patients with "mild" coronary artery disease (less than 50% obstruction) or in patients with significant isolated disease (greater than 50% obstruction) of the left anterior descending (lad) artery. Significant reductions in mean LV perfusion were found in patients with greater than 50% obstruction of two coronary arteries (LAD + right or LAD + circumflex) and in patients with triple-vessel disease. The average perfusion rate for regions distal to LAD obstructions in patients with isolated LAD disease was not lower than the LAD perfusion in control patients, but was significantly reduced in patients with LAD + right coronary artery disease (43+/-14 ml/100 g-min). In the latter group average perfusion distal to the LAD lesion was significantly lower than the average regional perfusion rate for the remainder of the LV. However, the mean blood flow rate for the remainder of the LV was also significantly lower than control values despite the lack of significant circumflex disease. The data demonstrate that the presence of radiographically "mild" or significant isolated LAD coronary disease is not associated with reductions in mean LV perfusion at rest, but that mean LV perfusion is reduced in the presence of significant disease of two or three coronary artieries. None of the patients experienced angina during the resting studies and most had clinical evidence of ventricular failure. The observation of depressed LV perfusion in this group, as in the patients with cardiomyopathy, raises the possibility that a lowered resting blood supply may be adequate for a reduced level of performance of a diseased ventricle. The lack of selective reductions of regional perfusion at rest in the majority of the patients with LAD lesions suggests that regional myocardial blood flow must be measured during an intervention which increases myocardial oxygen consumption in order to assess the physiological significance of lesions which are observed at coronary arteriography.
P J Cannon, D H Schmidt, M B Weiss, D L Fowler, R R Sciacca, K Ellis, W J Casarella