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Am J Cardiol. 2012 Jan 15;109(2):153-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.08.023. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

Prognostic value of stress echocardiogram in patients with angiographically significant coronary artery disease.

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Valley Health System, Ridgewood, New Jersey, USA.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of stress echocardiography in patients with angiographically significant coronary artery disease (CAD). Two hundred sixty patients (mean age 63 ± 10 years, 58% men) who underwent stress echocardiography (41% treadmill, 59% dobutamine) and coronary angiography within 3 months and without intervening coronary revascularization were evaluated. All patients had significant CAD as defined by coronary stenosis ≥70% in major epicardial vessels or branches (45% had single-vessel disease, and 55% had multivessel disease). The left ventricle was divided into 16 segments and scored on a 5-point scale of wall motion. Patients with abnormal results on stress echocardiography were defined as those with stress-induced ischemia (increase in wall motion score of ≥1 grade). Follow-up (3.1 ± 1.2 years) for nonfatal myocardial infarction (n = 23) and cardiac death (n = 6) was obtained. In patients with angiographically significant CAD, stress echocardiography effectively risk stratified normal (no ischemia, n = 91) in contrast to abnormal (ischemia, n = 169) groups for cardiac events (event rate 1.0%/year vs 4.9%/year, p = 0.01). Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified multivessel CAD (hazard ratio 2.53, 95% confidence interval 1.16 to 5.51, p = 0.02) and number of segments in which ischemia was present (hazard ratio 4.31, 95% confidence interval 1.29 to 14.38, p = 0.01) as predictors of cardiac events. A Cox proportional-hazards model for cardiac events showed small, significant incremental value of stress echocardiography over coronary angiography (p = 0.02) and the highest global chi-square value for both (p = 0.004). In conclusion, in patients with angiographically significant CAD, (1) normal results on stress echocardiography conferred a benign prognosis (event rate 1.0%/year), and (2) stress echocardiographic results (no ischemia vs ischemia) added incremental prognostic value to coronary angiographic results, and (3) stress echocardiography and coronary angiography together provided additive prognostic value, with the highest global chi-square value.

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