Is angiographic ventriculography necessary for the assessment of ischemic patients?
Katritsis D., Shakespeare CF., Byrne C., Watkins H., Coltart DJ., Webb-Peploe MM.
A total of 53 patients with a provisional diagnosis of ischemic heart disease and without any clinical evidence of valvular, congenital, or primary muscle heart disease were studied by echocardiography and biplane left ventricular cineangiography. For angiographic ejection fraction analysis, a program developed in our department for use on an Apple Macintosh computer interfaced to a digitizing tablet was employed. Echocardiographic outlines of systolic and diastolic images were traced with a digitizing system on the screen and ejection fractions were calculated by a program incorporated in the echo machine. Good echo windows allowing ejection fraction calculations were present in 35 patients. There was a good correlation between angiographic and echocardiographic ejection fraction (r = 0.7, SEE = 0.09), and wall motion assessment revealed no significant discrepancies between the two image modalities. The remaining 18 patients had poor echo windows, preventing accurate echocardiographic determination of the ejection fraction. However, limited assessment of left ventricular size and wall motion was possible in all patients and allowed the identification of those who had impaired left ventricular function as judged by angiography (angiographic ejection fraction < 35%). We conclude that even in patients with poor echo windows echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular function provides clinical information similar to angiography which should not be considered mandatory for the investigation of ordinary ischemic patients.