Intracoronary Albunex Its Effects on Left Ventricular Hemodynamics, Function, and Coronary Sinus Flow in Humans

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Albunex is a recently developed ultrasonic contrast agent made from sonicated human serum albumin. The effects on left ventricular hemodynamics, function, and coronary sinus flow of intracoronary Albunex in humans have not been reported.

Methods and Results.

Eighteen patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease were examined at the time of coronary arteriography with simultaneous two-dimensional echocardiography and left ventricular catheter-tip manometry. Intracoronary injections of Albunex into the left main coronary artery were performed, as were injections of 5% human serum albumin and iohexol, a widely used angiographic contrast agent. Mean coronary sinus flow was determined before and after injections of iohexol and 2 mL of Albunex. Injection of 1 mL of Albunex induced no changes in any of the measured hemodynamic parameters (heart rate, peak left ventricular [LV] systolic pressure, LV end-diastolic pressure, positive or negative LV dP/dt, or time constant of relaxation) or echocardiographic determinants of LV function (regional wall motion and global ejection fraction). Injection of 2 mL or more of Albunex caused small, transient (less than 30 seconds) changes in measures of isovolumic relaxation (negative LV dP/dt; 95% confidence interval: mean, -2.41 [-4.3, -0.52] and tau1; confidence interval mean, 3.53; [1.48, 5.58]) but not in functional measures. Intracoronary injection of 5% human serum albumin had no effect. Iohexol induced small but significant changes in both systolic and diastolic parameters, which lasted beyond 30 seconds after injection. Mean coronary sinus blood flow increased.


The effects of Albunex on hemodynamics, left ventricular function, and coronary sinus blood flow compare favorably with iohexol. Albunex can be considered to be an essentially inert contrast agent if used in patients with stable coronary artery disease. (Circulation.1993;88[part 1]:2123–2127.)

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