Ultrasonic Myocardial Tissue Characterization in the Operating Room: Initial Results Using Transesophageal Echocardiography

Mark H. Eaton, Demetrios Lappas, Alan D. Waggoner, Julio E. Pérez, James G. Miller, Benico Barzilai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Ultrasonic tissue characterization provides quantitative assessment of myocardial function and viability. We have previously reported that normal myocardium is characterized by a diastolic-to-systolic cyclic variation of integrated backscatter (IB), whereas ischemic myocardium exhibits blunting of this pattern. To define the applicability of this measurement to characterize the left ventricular myocardium in the operating room, we studied 26 consecutive patients undergoing open heart surgery (12 coronary artery bypass graft, 13 valvular, 1 other) with 5 MHz transesophageal echocardiography. Images of the left ventricle were obtained in the short-axis plane (papillary muscle level) before cardiopulmonary bypass. M-mode acquisition of myocardial IB was attempted from the anterior and inferior segments in each patient. The cyclic variation of IB was measured in at least two consecutive cycles in addition to a qualitative assessment of wall motion. Quantitative measurement of IB was possible in 39/52 (75%) myocardial segments. Cyclic variation of IB averaged 5.7 ± 1.4 dB (SD) in segments with normal wall motion (n = 25); no difference was noted in the cyclic variation of IB among anterior or inferior walls. Hypokinetic segments demonstrated significant reduction of the cyclic variation (3.8 ± 1.8 dB; p < 0.001). Difficulty with obtaining myocardial IB was related to near-field artifact or lateral displacement of the left ventricular wall during systole. Transesophageal echocardiography holds promise for the evaluation of myocardial function and its preservation during cardiac surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-546
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991


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