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Kidney Int. 2009 Aug;76(4):428-36. doi: 10.1038/ki.2009.160. Epub 2009 Jun 3.

Comparison of the prognostic value of dipyridamole and dobutamine myocardial perfusion scintigraphy in hemodialysis patients.

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Renal Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, AZ Sint-Jan AV, Ruddershove, Bruges, Belgium.


Screening for coronary artery disease (CAD) in hemodialysis patients is hampered by contraindications and/or limitations of the available techniques in this population. Myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (MPS) using dipyridamole has been considered inaccurate due to abnormally high basal levels of adenosine in uremia that could blunt the vasodilatory response. Since dobutamine may be more reliable, we directly compared the two in patients on hemodialysis. We performed MPS at rest and after separate dipyridamole or dobutamine stress in 121 chronic hemodialysis patients. More numerous, larger, and more intense reversible lesions were induced with dobutamine than with dipyridamole, mainly in the anteroseptal segments. Reversibility with dipyridamole but not dobutamine MPS was independently and strongly related with mortality associated with CAD and with fatal and non-fatal CAD. We hypothesize that the chronotropic action of dobutamine induced alterations of wall motion, leading to spurious perfusion defects, not unlike artifacts seen with left bundle branch block. Our study shows that even though dobutamine induced more pronounced myocardial ischemia than dipyridamole in chronic hemodialysis patients, dipyridamole MPS more accurately identifies patients at high risk for subsequent cardiac death or non-fatal CAD than dobutamine.

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