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Am J Ther. 2008 Sep-Oct;15(5):431-4. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0b013e31815aec1b.

Effect of caffeine on myocardial perfusion imaging using single photon emission computed tomography during adenosine pharmacologic stress.

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  • 1Section of Cardiology, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science of The Chicago Medical School, Chicago, IL, USA.


Approximately 6 million cardiac stress tests are performed annually in the United States, of which 2.4 million are pharmacologic stress tests using agents such as adenosine. Adenosine induces differential coronary hyperemia in normal coronary arteries versus coronary arteries with atherosclerosis, allowing single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging to identify reduced coronary flow in segments subtended by diseased coronary arteries. The potential attenuation of pharmacologic effects of adenosine in the presence of caffeine is why patients are routinely instructed to abstain from caffeine for 12 to 24 hours prior to administration of an adenosine stress test. Failure to abstain from caffeine results in cancellation or delaying of cardiac stress testing, resulting in procedural delays and its impact on patient throughput. Recent studies have evaluated such interaction and suggested a lack of clinically significant effect of caffeine on adenosine-induced hyperemia during myocardial SPECT imaging. This article reviews the clinical pharmacology of caffeine, adenosine, and dipyridamole and effect of caffeine on myocardial stress testing using adenosine and dipyridamole in clinical cardiovascular medicine. The limited published data are conflicting, but some recent publications suggest that myocardial perfusion SPECT imaging using adenosine may not be clinically significantly altered by routine consumption of caffeine, such as a cup of coffee. Although prospective randomized studies would be required to obtain a definitive answer to this question, it appears on the basis of some of the studies reviewed in this article that caffeine consumption prior to myocardial perfusion imaging may not necessitate cancellation or rescheduling of adenosine stress testing.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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