Reliability of echocardiographic measurements of myocardial perfusion using commercially produced sonicated serum albumin (Albunex)

Allan L. Klein*, Alexander S. Bailey, Alvaro Moura, R. Daniel Murray, Annitta J. Morehead, Jose Brum, Gregory Pearce, William J. Stewart, James D. Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objectives. The purpose of this study was to assess the reproducibility and pitfalls of intracoronary and aortic root sonicated albumin injections, using time-intensity curves, in a large sample of normal dogs. Background. The utility of a new myocardial contrast echocar-diographic agent, sonicated serum albumin (Albunex), is currently under investigation. However, the reproducibility, injection techniques and general pitfalls of this contrast agent have not been well characterized. Methods. We administered sequential intracoronary and aortic root injections (518 injections) of sonicated albumin in 25 closed chest normal dogs to measure the effectiveness and reproducibility of this product. Time-intensity curves, as a measure of myocardial perfusion, were derived and quantified using an on-line videodensitometric analysis system and two-dimensional echocardiography. Measurements included peak intensity, area under the curve, half-time of descent, alpha-parameter and transit time within a 31- × 31-pixel "region of interest" in the anterior septum. Analyses provided 80% power and a type I error protection of 95%. Results. The best reproducibility of the variables was half-time of descent for aortic root injections (coefficient of variation [CV] 20%) and peak intensity for intracoronary injections (CV 25%), whereas aortic root area under the curve showed the most variability (CV 41%). Analysis of variance for repeated measures of serial intracoronary and aortic root injections showed no significant systematic variability within subjects for the measured variables. In a comparison between intracoronary and aortic root injection sites, paired t tests showed no significant difference for mean values between these two techniques. There was also no statistically significant difference between manual versus power intracoronary injections. Finally, there was no significant difference among three injection rates (1, 2 and 3 ml/s) in paired intracoronary injections, nor was there a difference among injection rates in paired aortic root injections, except for a lower peak intensity with a 1-ml/s injection rate compared with a 2-ml/s injection rate (p = 0.01). Potential pitfalls include preparation of sonicated albumin, delivery techniques and measurement variables. Conclusions. We conclude that the results of serial injections of sonicated albumin show no systematic change or trend in normal dogs. Both intracoronary and aortic root injections at standard injection rates by hand or power injector can be used to quantify time-intensity curves, as measure of myocardial perfusion, with similar variability ranging from 20% to 41%. These results are important in the human model, especially after coronary interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1983-1993
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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