Myocardial blood flow distribution in patients with ischemic heart disease or dilated cardiomyopathy undergoing heart transplantation

Oberdan Parodi, Renata De Maria, Luigi Oltrona, Roberto Testa, Gianmario Sambuceti, Alberto Roghi, Mario Merli, Luisella Belingheri, Roberto Accinni, Franco Spinelli, Alessandro Pellegrini, Giorgio Baroldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. The present investigation was designed to obtain an absolute measurement of myocardial blood flow and of its transmural distribution in ischemic heart disease and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and to provide a reference standard for cardiac imaging in nuclear cardiology. Methods and Results. Regional myocardial blood flow and its transmural distribution were estimated by the reference microsphere method in eight patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (n=4) or ischemic heart disease (n=4) during heart transplant procedure. Before aortic clamping, 99mTc-labeled human albumin microspheres were injected into the left atrium while arterial blood was sampled from the aorta at a constant rate. No complications were observed during or after the procedure. From the excised heart, myocardial slices for gamma camera imaging and well counting analysis were obtained. Myocardial blood flow was assessed by a well counter, correlated with the extent of fibrosis expressed as collagen per total tissue proteins obtained from 4-hydroxyproline and glycine as determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. Microsphere distribution, as seen by gamma camera images in a different slice, was correlated with the extent of fibrosis assessed by histological analysis of the same myocardial specimen. Mean transmural myocardial blood flow was 0.49±0.17 and 0.38±0.15 mL · min-1 · g-1 in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and ischemic heart disease, respectively (P.05). Mean myocardial fibrosis was 9±6% in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and 25±28% in ischemic heart disease. In both groups, no correlation was found between myocardial blood flow values and the extent of fibrosis. In ischemic heart disease, regional myocardial blood flow was not significantly affected by the severity of coronary stenosis (≤70% or >70%) either in the endocardium (0.44+0.24 versus 0.36±0.16 mL · min-1 -g-1, P=NS) or in the epicardium (0.50±0.33 versus 0.38±0.33 mL · min-1 · g-1, P=NS). By gamma camera imaging, transmural microsphere distribution appeared more homogeneous in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy than in ischemic heart disease (mean coefficient variation, 18% and 27%, respectively; P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-522
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1993


  • Blood flow
  • Heart disease
  • Microspheres
  • Myocardium
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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