The use of 2-dimensional echocardiography to evaluate coronary artery anatomy noninvasively and directly has been primarily limited to the evaluation of the left main coronary artery. To determine the feasibility of visualization of the proximal left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) and assessment for atherosclerotic disease in this location, 128 consecutive patients undergoing coronary arteriography were evaluated with digital 2-dimensional echocardiography. Visualization of the proximal LAD was possible in 90 (70%) of the 128 patients. Of 45 patients with proximal LAD narrowing by angiography, digital echocardiography correctly identified 44 (98% sensitivity). In 27 patients with angiographically normal coronary arteries, digital echocardiography was normal in 18 (67% specificity). In the 18 patients with an angiographically normal proximal LAD but narrowing elsewhere in the coronary system, digital echocardiographic evaluation of the proximal LAD was abnormal in 15. This initial study suggests that 2-dimensional echocardiography is a feasible technique to image the proximal LAD non-invasively in patients undergoing coronary arteriography.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine