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Am J Cardiol. 1991 Aug 1;68(4):329-34.

Stunned left ventricular myocardium after exercise treadmill testing in coronary artery disease.

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Heart Institute, Hospital of the Good Samaritan, Los Angeles, California 90017.


Myocardial stunning (postischemic ventricular dysfunction) occurs in dogs after coronary stenosis following treadmill exercise. Less data are available in humans regarding development of stunned myocardium after exercise. Regional wall motion changes were evaluated in 22 patients with known coronary artery disease using 2-dimensional echocardiography and exercise treadmill testing. Wall motion was scored as 1 = normal, 2 = hypokinetic, 3 = akinetic, 4 = dyskinetic. At least 1 left ventricular segment with normal resting function developed an increase in wall motion score at 15 or 30 minutes compared with values at rest. The wall motion score in the midportion of the ventricular septum increased from 1.0 at rest to 1.6 (p less than 0.004) at 30 minutes after exercise; the basal inferior wall score worsened from 1.0 at rest to 1.9 (p less than 0.01) at 30 minutes after exercise. Coronary angiographic data in these patients revealed that left anterior descending narrowing correlated best with left ventricular septal wall motion abnormalities, whereas right coronary artery and circumflex narrowing best correlated with inferior and posterior wall motion abnormalities. Eight normal adult volunteers with no history of myocardial ischemia also underwent 2-dimensional echocardiography and exercise testing. No wall motion abnormalities were observed at any time after exercise. The present study suggests that in patients with coronary artery disease, exercise treadmill testing may induce regional wall motion abnormalities of the left ventricle that persist greater than or equal to 30 minutes after exercise, an observation consistent with the phenomenon of stunned myocardium.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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