Radionuclide and contrast ventriculography were evaluated for their ability to estimate myocardial ischemia. In 14 closed-chest, sedated dogs, a small and larger region of ischemia were produced by inflating balloon occluders on the left anterior descending coronary artery. The systemic arterial pressure, atrial-paced heart rate, global ejection fraction by radionuclide and contrast ventriculography, regional wall-motion abnormalities (as the percentage of abnormally contracting segments), and regional myocardial blood flow (using the microsphere technique) were measured during an initial control period, two separate ischemic periods, and a final control period. The regional ischemic weights based on myocardial blood flow ranged from 0 to 38.5 g and were grouped as zero, small (range 0 to less than 10 g, mean 3.40 g), and large regions of ischemia (greater than 10 g, mean 24.8 g). Regional wall-motion abnormalities were sensitive qualitative indicators of ischemia. Receiver operating characteristic analysis showed that both ventriculographic methods were highly sensitive, specific, and accurate for detecting regional ischemia. Contrast ventriculography was slightly superior for detecting small regions less than 4 g, but the methods were equal for regions greater than 4 g. The arterial pressure and heart rate were unchanged during ischemia. For small regions of ischemia, the global ejection fraction did not fall using either the contrast or radionuclide technique, but it fell significantly when large regions were produced. There was a quantitative relationship between the percentage of abnormally contracting segments and the grams of myocardial ischemia (for radionuclide ventriculography, r = 0.65, P = 0.003, and for contrast ventriculography, r = 0.75, P less than 0.001), but for many small regions of ischemia, wall-motion changes were greater than anticipated, suggesting hypofunction of the continguous normal tissue. This study demonstrated that both radionuclide and contrast ventriculography were quite sensitive and specific for detecting measured amounts of regional ischemia. The functional changes resulting from ischemia are quantitatively related to the extent of regional ischemia, small areas resulting in regional wall motion abnormalities, and large areas producing both reduced global ejection fraction and wall motion changes.
M W Kronenberg, M L Born, C W Smith, L Brorson, J C Collins, S B Higgins, W K Vaughn, F D Rollo, G C Friesinger, S S Pearson, J L Norris, O H Wolfe