Associazione Nazionale Medici Cardiologi Ospedalieri



Contrast Stress Echocardiography Findings in Myocardial Bridging Compared to Normal Coronary Course, With and Without Coronary Artery Disease

Tuttolomondo Domenico Parma(PR) – Università degli studi di Parma. Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Parma. | Gaibazzi Nicola Parma(PR) – Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Parma | Guerra Emiliano Modena(MO) – Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Modena

Background: Myocardial bridging (MB) correlation with ischemia remains a diagnostic challenge. There is a lack of studies that have assessed MB using contrast stress echo and compared the findings with those in patients demonstrating a normal coronary course, with or without obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD).

Methods: We evaluated all consecutive patients who underwent contrast stress echocardiography and coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) due to suspected symptoms of CAD within 3 months in Parma Hospital. Coronary computed tomography angiography served as the reference standard for detecting MB and obstructive CAD. The patients were divided into 3 groups: (1) MB and no evidence of obstructive CAD (MB group, N = 64), (2) no evidence of obstructive CAD or MB (NoCAD group, N = 135), (3) obstructive CAD without MB (CAD group, N = 68).

Results: The coronary flow velocity reserve in the LAD (CFVR-LAD) was reduced in the MB and CAD groups, measuring 1.91 ± 0.21 and 1.82 ± 0.28, respectively, whereas it was 2.27 ± 0.34 in the NoCAD group (P < .001). The MB and CAD groups exhibited a higher prevalence of reversible myocardial perfusion defects (rMPDs) compared to the NoCAD group (57.8% vs 64.7% vs 3.7%, P < .001). Reversible wall motion abnormalities were frequently observed in the CAD group and rarely found in the MB and NoCAD groups (47.1% vs 18.8% vs 4.4%, P < .001). In multivariable analyses, the presence of MB was independently associated with reduced CFVR-LAD (odds ratio = 14.55; 95% CI, 6.84-30.93; P < .001) and the presence of rMPD (odds ratio = 37.96; 95% CI, 13.49-106.84; P < .001). Patients with deep MB (>2 mm depth) and very deep MB (≥5 mm depth) exhibited significantly greater CFVR-LAD reduction and rMPD than those with superficial MB.

Conclusions: Myocardial bridging is capable of inducing rMPD and reducing CFVR-LAD similar to obstructive CAD. The depth of the MB correlates with the abnormalities found in the stress echo evaluation. Contrast stress echo may serve as a valuable noninvasive tool for evaluating patients with MB.