Measurement of in vivo myocardial microcirculatory function with electron beam CT

Lilach O. Lerman, Suvipaporn Siripornpitak, Natalia Luna Maffei, Patrick F. Sheedy, Erik L. Ritman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this work was to examine the capability of electron beam CT (EBCT) to characterize responses of recruitable (capillaries and small arterioles) compared with nonrecruitable (small to large arterioles) myocardial microvessels to vasoactive substances. Method: Myocardial perfusion (F) and total intramyocardial blood volume (BV) of the anterior cardiac wall were quantitated in 36 pigs, using EBCT and intravenous contrast agent injections, before and after intracoronary administration of either NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA), nitroglycerin, adenosine, or saline. Plotting the relationship of BV and F provided values for the recruitable and nonrecruitable microvascular transit times and BV allotment. Results: Nitroglycerin increased nonrecruitable BV by 84.5 ± 7.4%, whereas adenosine increased both recruitable and nonrecruitable microvascular BV (47.1 ± 18.9 and 66.0 ± 10.9%, respectively). L-NMMA led to a 25.1% decrease only in the recruitable BV. In the control group, no changes were observed. Conclusion: Characteristic responses of different-size myocardial microvessels may be inferred with EBCT, which provides a unique opportunity to portray intramyocardial microcirculatory function noninvasively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-398
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of computer assisted tomography
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Computed tomography, techniques
  • Microcirculation
  • Myocardium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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