The purpose of this study is to determine if women with chest pain and "clean" heart blood
vessels have impaired blood flow to the heart due to problems with the small blood vessels
that provide blood and oxygen to the heart. Impairment in the small blood vessels will be
tested using ultrasound pictures of the heart, called myocardial contrast echocardiography.
Since these small blood vessels are not seen in a coronary angiogram, which is an x-ray of
the heart vessels using a dye containing iodine injected in the heart vessels, the problem
may remain undiagnosed in women until the heart muscle becomes severely damaged.
A second purpose is to identify if there is a common trait in the population of women with
this tiny blood vessel dysfunction, which will be investigated by checking blood levels of
certain chemical and hormones related to heart disease. Finally, we would like to
investigate the relationship between depression and stress, and heart disease. We will do
this by measuring cortisol (a hormone that serves as a measure of stress) and administering
questionnaires that help to identify depression and stress.
- Women 45 to 75 years of age
- Allergy to any component of the drugs: Definity®. Dipyridamole Aminophyllin or
- Known coronary heart disease, significant valvular disease (valvular stenosis or
insufficiency greater than moderate) left ventricular systolic dysfunction,
congenital heart disease or cardiac shunt, pulmonary hypertension, moderate or severe
- Inability to reach the patient by mail, fax, e-mail or phone
- Active infection
- Uncontrolled hypertension
- Severe asthma
- Kidney disease