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Curr Opin Cardiol. 1999 Nov;14(6):464-70.

Pharmacologic stress echocardiography in the assessment of coronary artery disease.

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  • 1CNR, Institute of Clinical Physiology, Pisa, Italy.


Pharmacologic stress echocardiography has gained widespread popularity in recent years because it is more feasible for the patient and less technically demanding for the echocardiographer than exercise stress testing. The two most popular pharmacologic stresses are dobutamine and dipyridamole. These agents provide similar prognostic value and diagnostic accuracy for angiographically assessed coronary artery disease; dobutamine has marginally higher sensitivity in single-vessel disease, and dipyridamole has marginally higher specificity in patients with normal coronary arteries. Both stresses are safe, but a physician should always be in attendance when they are administered: Life-threatening reactions can occur in one of 300 to 500 cases with dobutamine and in one of 700 to 1500 cases with dipyridamole. For dipyridamole and dobutamine echocardiography, outcome data are available from multicenter, international, observational, prospective studies, such as the EPIC (Echo Persantine International Cooperative) and EDIC (Echo Dobutamine International Cooperative).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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