Myocardial contrast echocardiography in subarachnoid hemorrhage-induced cardiac dysfunction: Case report

Vivien H. Lee, Sahar S. Abdelmoneim, Wilson P. Daugherty, Jae K. Oh, Sharon L. Mulvagh, Eelco F.M. Wijdicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Cardiac dysfunction is a well-known complication of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) that is generally regarded as secondary to catecholamine excess rather than overt ischemia. Myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) is a novel method of evaluating cardiac function and perfusion. We report the use of MCE in a patient with SAH and correlate the results to coronary angiography. METHODS: Bedside MCE using Definity contrast agent (Bristol-Myers Squibb/Sanofi Pharmaceuticals, New York, NY) was performed at the onset of SAH and at the 1-week and 4-month follow-up evaluations. RESULTS: A 64-year-old woman presented with aneurysmal SAH. She developed transient ST elevation on lateral electrocardiographic leads and elevated cardiac enzymes with creatine-kinase MB isoenzyme of 44.3 ng/ml and troponin of 0.62 ng/ml. An emergent coronary angiogram performed at the outside facility revealed normal coronary anatomy, ejection fraction of 30%, and midventricular akinesis. On transfer to our facility, MCE demonstrated an ejection fraction of 45% with normal coronary perfusion in the akinetic midventricular segments and normally contracting basal and apical segments. At the 4-month follow-up examination, her ejection fraction normalized to 67% and regional wall motion had improved. CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, our case represents the first reported use of MCE in a patient with SAH. MCE demonstrating normal myocardium perfusion in the setting of normal coronary arteries on coronary angiogram and midventricular akinetic segments is compatible with nonischemic injury, which further supports the "catecholamine hypothesis" of neurogenic cardiac stunning. MCE may be a feasible noninvasive method to evaluate myocardial perfusion in the SAH population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E261-E262
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Myocardial contrast echocardiography
  • Neurogenic stunned myocardium
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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