Variations in normal coronary vasodilatory reserve stratified by artery, gender, heart transplantion and coronary artery disease

Morton J. Kern, Richard G. Bach, Carol J. Mechem, Eugene A. Caracciolo, Frank V. Aguirre, Leslie W. Miller, Thomas J. Donohue

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138 Scopus citations


Objectives. The purpose of the study was to assess the spectrum of coronary vasodilatory reserve values in patients with angiographically normal arteries who had atypical chest pain syndromes or remote coronary artery disease or were heart transplant recipients. Background. The measurement of post-stenotic coronary vasodilatory reserve, now possible in a large number of patients in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, is increasingly used for decision making. Controversy exists regarding the range of normal values obtained in angiographically normal coronary arteries in patients with different clinical presentations. Methods. Quantitative coronary arteriography was performed in 214 patients classified into three groups: 85 patients with chest pain syndromes and angiographically normal arteries (group 1): 21 patients with one normal vessel and at least one vessel with >50% diameter lumen narrowing (group 2); and 108 heart transplant recipients (group 3). Coronary vasodilatory reserve (the ratio of maximal to basal average coronary flow velocity) was measured in 416 arteries using a 0.018-in. (0.04 cm) Doppler-tipped angioplasty guide wire. Intracoronary adenosine (8 to 18 μg) was used to produce maximal hyperemia. Results. Coronary vasodilatory reserve was higher in angiographically normal arteries in patients with chest pain syndromes (group 1: 2.80 ± 0.6 [group mean ± SD]) than in normal vessels in patients with remote coronary artery disease (group 2: 2.5 ± 0.95, p = 0.04); both values were significantly higher than those in the post-stenotic segment of the diseased artery (1.8 ± 0.6, p < 0.007). Coronary vasodilatory reserve in transplant recipients (group 3) was higher than that in the other groups (3.1 ± 0.9, p < 0.05 vs. groups 1 and 2) as a group and for individual arteries. When stratified by vessel, coronary vasodilatory reserve was similar among the left anterior descending, left circumflex and right coronary arteries. There were no differences between coronary vasodilatory reserve values on the basis of gender for patients with coronary artery disease and transplant recipients. In group 1 (chest pain), there was a trend toward higher coronary vasodilatory reserve in men than in women (2.9 ± 0.6 vs 2.7 ± 0.6, p = 0,07). Conclusions. These findings identify a normal reference range for studies assessing the coronary circulation and post-stenotic coronary vasodilatory reserve in patients with and without coronary artery disease encountered in the cardiac catheterization laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1154-1160
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 1996


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