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J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 1996 Jan-Feb;9(1):27-32.

Safety and feasibility of dobutamine-atropine stress echocardiography in patients with ischemic left ventricular dysfunction.

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Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Rotterdam-Dijkzigt, Erasmus University, The Netherlands.


The aim of this study was to analyze whether left ventricular dysfunction affects the safety and feasibility of high-dose dobutamine-atropine stress echocardiography. We examined the results of the test in 318 consecutive patients who were referred for high-dose dobutamine-atropine stress echocardiography and also underwent diagnostic cardiac catheterization. Forty-four patients had a left ventricular ejection fraction of 25% or less (mean, 21%; range, 15% to 25%). In the entire group of 318 patients, no serious complications (death, myocardial infarction, or ventricular fibrillation) occurred. The overall feasibility of completing the test was excellent (97%). A trial fibrillation occurred in four patients, nonsustained ventricular tachycardia in 12, and sustained ventricular tachycardia in one. A decrease in systolic blood pressure of greater than 40 mm Hg or a peak systolic pressure of less than 80 mm Hg was present in eight cases. In the group with an ejection fraction of 25% or less, there was a higher rate of significant tachyarrhythmias (14% versus 5%; p = 0.03), whereas the feasibility of the test was slightly lower (89%; p < 0.01), but no difference for hypotension was found. By multivariate analysis, a history of tachyarrhythmias was the only predictor of stress-induced arrhythmias. Advanced left ventricular dysfunction does not represent a contraindication for dobutamine-atropine stress testing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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