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Impaired coronary vasodilation with Regadenoson in patients with angiographically normal coronaries when compared to normal volunteers - Insights from Quantitative MRI Perfusion

  • Sujethra Vasu1,
  • W Patricia Bandettini1,
  • Li-Yueh Hsu1,
  • Peter Kellman1,
  • Marcus Y Chen1,
  • Joel Wilson1,
  • Steve Leung1,
  • Sujata M Shanbhag1,
  • O Julian Booker1,
  • Christine Mancini1,
  • Jennifer Henry1,
  • Tracy Lowrey1 and
  • Andrew E Arai1
Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance201113(Suppl 1):O66

Published: 2 February 2011


Myocardial Blood FlowNormal VolunteerAminophyllineRegadenosonMyocardial Perfusion Reserve


Quantitative myocardial perfusion to assess impaired coronary vasoreactivity has been used to identify subclinical atherosclerosis. Impaired coronary vasodilation has been observed in patients with cardiac risk factors in the MESA cohort. The coronary vasodilator response in patients with angiographically normal coronary arteries/minimal stenosis is not known. The purpose of this study was to compare the stress myocardial blood flow (MBF) of patients with normal coronaries/minimal stenosis with normal volunteers.


Patients with angiographically normal coronaries/minimal stenosis have impaired vasodilator response when compared to normal volunteers.


Twenty patients with normal coronaries/minimal stenosis on coronary CT angiography had also undergone stress MR with regadenoson. Seventeen healthy normal volunteers with Framingham score less than 1% underwent stress testing with regadenoson. Using a SSFP perfusion sequence, stress imaging was done 70 seconds post regadenoson injection. All patients and volunteers received aminophylline after stress imaging. Rest imaging was done 20 minutes later. Myocardial blood flow (MBF) in ml/min/g and myocardial perfusion reserve (MPR) were quantified using a fully quantitative model constrained deconvolution (MCD).


Stress MBF (mean ± standard error) was higher in normal volunteers (3.72 ± 0.18) than patients (2.78 ± 0.14), p=.0002. When stratified by risk factors (0-1, >1) the stress MBF of patients with >1 risk factor was significantly lower than young, healthy, normal volunteers (2.64± 0.12 vs. 3.72± 0.18, p= 0.00005). Figures 1 and 2.
Figure 1
Figure 1

Study Design

Figure 2
Figure 2

Rest, Stress MBF and MPR between normal volunteers and patients,

Figure 3
Figure 3

Rest and Stress MBF in normal volunteers and patients stratified by risk factors.


Despite angiographically normal coronaries/minimal stenosis on CT, patients referred for stress testing have impaired coronary vasodilator response relative to young, healthy normal volunteers. The magnitude of this effect is larger in patients with >1 risk factor.

Authors’ Affiliations

National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA


© Vasu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.