Stress echocardiography in the detection of myocardial ischemia. Head-to-head comparison of exercise, dobutamine, and dipyridamole tests.
BACKGROUND Exercise and pharmacological stress echocardiography have emerged as convenient alternatives to myocardial scintigraphy. The objective of this study was to compare in the same patients the diagnostic values of exercise, dobutamine, and dipyridamole stress echocardiography tests for detection of myocardial ischemia.
METHODS AND RESULTS We performed exercise (maximal treadmill Bruce protocol), dobutamine (up to 40 micrograms/kg per minute) and dipyridamole (up to 0.84 mg/kg over 10 minutes) stress echocardiography tests, in random sequence and on separate days, in 136 consecutive patients. All patients underwent coronary angiography. Significant coronary artery disease was defined by quantitative coronary angiography as a lesion with a diameter stenosis > or = 50%. A stress echocardiogram was considered positive when new or worsening of preexisting wall motion abnormality was observed. Most of the patients (94%) were receiving the same antianginal medication for each stress test; 59 patients were receiving concomitant beta-blocker therapy. The prevalence of coronary artery disease was 87.5%, with 108 patients having one-vessel coronary artery disease. Peak heart rate and systolic blood pressure were higher with exercise than with dobutamine or dipyridamole (P < .01). Sensitivity of exercise, dobutamine, and dipyridamole stress echocardiography was 88%, 82%, and 74% (dipyridamole versus exercise, P < .01), respectively. Specificity was 82%, 77%, and 94%, respectively. The overall accuracy was 87%, 82%, and 77% (dipyridamole versus exercise, P < .01), respectively. The accuracy of dipyridamole was higher (P = .02) in the group of patients not receiving beta-blockers (84%) than in the patients receiving beta-blocker therapy (66%), whereas the accuracy of exercise and dobutamine were only slightly higher in the patients not receiving beta-blockers. Significant side effects occurred in 3%, 11%, and 1% of patients during exercise, dobutamine, and dipyridamole tests, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS Despite the different hemodynamic effects, exercise, dobutamine, and dipyridamole echocardiography have high overall diagnostic values. In this group of patients with a predominance of one-vessel coronary artery disease, the overall diagnostic accuracy of stress echocardiography tests was higher for exercise than for dobutamine or dipyridamole. Concomitant beta-blocker therapy significantly decreased the accuracy of the dipyridamole stress echocardiography test. Pharmacological stress testing (dipyridamole without beta-blockers) can therefore be used as an efficient option for detection of myocardial ischemia in patients who are unable or poorly motivated to exercise adequately.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association