We tested the hypothesis that the extent of signs of ischaemia detected by vectorcardiography (VCG) during elective coronary angioplasty (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty; PTCA) is related to systolic and diastolic myocardial velocities, as determined by tissue Doppler echocardiography. A total of 15 patients undergoing PTCA (12 men/three women; age 61±9 years), without prior myocardial infarction and with an ejection fraction of > 50%, were included. The balloon inflation was repeated three times, with minimum intervals of 2 min between inflations. Tissue Doppler echocardiography was performed, in an apical two- or four-chamber view, before and at the end of each inflation. Peak systolic velocity, time-to-peak systolic velocity (TTP), peak early (Em) and late (Am) diastolic velocities, the Em/Am ratio and isovolumic relaxation time were measured in the basal segments of the left ventricle. VCG recordings were carried out during the whole procedure. ST vector magnitude (ST-VM) and ST change vector magnitude (STC-VM) were monitored. The total duration and area of each VCG change during inflation were calculated for each patient. Isovolumic relaxation time, peak Em and Am values and the Em/Am ratio did not change significantly during inflation. Peak systolic velocity decreased (6.7±2.0 to 5.3±1.9 cm/s; P < 0.001) and TTP increased (157±60 to 192±60 ms; P < 0.01) during inflation. Both STC-VM time (r = -0.68, P < 0.01) and STC-VM area (r = -0.68, P < 0.01) were related to peak systolic velocity during inflation. STC-VM time was also related (r = 0.55, P < 0.05) to the difference in peak systolic velocity during compared with before inflation. ST-VM was less closely related to peak systolic velocity. Thus the duration and degree of ischaemia, as measured by VCG, are related to peak systolic velocity in the basal segments of the left ventricle.

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