2001 Volume 195 Issue 3 Pages 171-179
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of low-dose dobutamine on left ventricular (LV) functional and coronary flow reserves using transthoracic echocardiography. The study group consisted of 30 children aged from 5 months to 16 years (mean 4.8±4.4 years). Echocardiographic studies were repeated before and during dobutamine infusion (5 μg/kg per minute). The peak diastolic velocity in the left descending coronary artery (LAD) was recorded by pulsed-Doppler under the guidance of color Doppler flow mapping. The coronary flow velocity (CFV) response was calculated as the ratio of LAD peak flow velocity at dobutamine infusion to basal LAD peak flow velocity. Left ventricular contractility was calculated by two-dimensionally directed M-mode echocardiography. The rate-corrected mean velocity of circumferential fiber shortening (mVcfc) and LV end-systolic wall stress (ESS) were used as indices of contractility. Adequate spectral Doppler recordings of the LAD peak flow velocity for the assessment of CFV response were obtained in 26 of 30 patients (87%). The LAD peak flow velocity at dobutamine infusion increased significantly compared with the basal values. The CFV response in the younger children was low and increased significantly with age. The CFV response did not show significant correlations with the changes in heart rate, systolic blood pressure, rate-pressure product, nor ESS during dobutamine infusion. However, a significant relationship between the CFV response and the percent change of mVcfc was observed. In the present study using high frequency transthoracic echocardiography, we demonstrated the age-related changes in CFV response and LV functional reserve by dobutamine infusion. Responses of LV contractility and coronary flow to dobutamine are less sensitive in younger children and increased with increasing age.