Segmental wall motion abnormalities in the absence of clinically documented myocardial infarction: Clinical significance and evidence of hibernating myocardium

Stephen J. Lewis, Stephen G. Sawada, Thomas Ryan, Douglas S. Segar, William F. Armstrong, Harvey Feigenbaum

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53 Scopus citations


To determine the frequency and significance of left ventricular wall motion abnormalities in patients without clinical evidence of myocardial infarction, we reviewed the two-dimensional echocardiograms of 252 patients who had no history or electrocardiographic evidence of myocardial infarction and who subsequently underwent coronary angiography. Seventy-seven patients (31%) had one or more segmental wall motion abnormalities. Sixty-six of the 77 patients (86%) had significant coronary artery disease (≥50% luminal diameter stenosis). Seventy-four percent of the patients with coronary artery disease had multivessel disease. The left ventricle was divided into anterior and posterior regions. In the 66 patients, there were 77 separate regions with wall motion abnormalities (49 hypokinesis, 22 akinesis, 6 dyskinesis), including 60 regions (78%) supplied by coronary vessels with ≥70% stenosis. Thirty-two patients underwent coronary artery bypass surgery or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. Follow-up echocardiograms were obtained in 19 patients who had wall motion abnormatlies involving 22 regions. Twenty of the 22 regions were revascularized. Wall motion improved in 17 of 20 regions (85%) and returned to normal in 15 regions (75%). We conclude that segmental wall motion abnormalities may be detected by echocardiography in up to one third of patients evaluated for suspected coronary artery disease without documented myocardial infarction. These abnormalities are associated with a high likelihood of multivessel disease as well as with significant narrowing of the artery supplying the region demonstrating abnormal wall motion. Improvement in segmental wall motion abnormalities after revascularization suggests that these areas represent regions of hibernating myocardium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1088-1094
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number4 PART 1
StatePublished - Apr 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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