Study objectives: This study was conducted to examine if the use of multiplane transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) could predict the absence or the presence of significant coronary artery disease (CAD) in patients with aortic stenosis.
Design: Prospective study.
Setting: University hospital.
Patients: Clinical, angiographic features and TEE findings were prospectively analyzed in 132 consecutive patients with aortic stenosis.
Measurements and results: In 63 patients with significant CAD, 57 had thoracic aortic plaque on TEE studies. In contrast, aortic plaque existed in only 19 of the remaining 69 patients with normal or mildly abnormal coronary arteries. Therefore, the presence of aortic plaque on the TEE identified significant CAD with a sensitivity of 90.5%, a specificity of 72.5%, and with positive and negative predictive values of 75.0% and 89.3%, respectively. There was a significant relation between the severity of thoracic aortic atherosclerosis and the severity of CAD (p<0.0001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that aortic plaque, angina, and age were independent predictors of CAD. Aortic plaque was the most significant independent predictor.
Conclusion: This prospective study indicates that TEE examination of thoracic atherosclerotic plaque is a powerful predictor of absence of significant CAD in patients with aortic stenosis.