Author + information
- Received October 7, 1993
- Revision received January 28, 1994
- Accepted February 2, 1994
- Published online July 1, 1994.
- Vito Marangelli, MD, PhD1,
- Sabino Iliceto, MD∗,
- Giovanni Piccinni, MD,
- Giulia De Martino, MD,
- Luigi Sorgente, MD and
- Paolo Rizzon, MD
- ↵∗Address for correspondence: Dr. Sabino Iliceto, Institute of Cardiology, University of Bari, Piazza Giulio Cesare, 13, 70124 Bari, Italy.
Objectives. This study assessed and compared the diagnostic potential of exercise, transesophageal atrial pacing and dipyridamole stress echocardiography in a clinical setting.
Background. Although they have been widely studied, no data exist with regard to comparisons of these procedures in a head-to-head study in different clinical settings.
Methods. One hundred four consecutive patients with suspected coronary artery disease undergoing coronary angiography and with no previous myocardial infarction or rest left ventricular wall motion abnormalities underwent digital posttreadmill, transesophageal atrial pacing and dipyridamole echocardiography.
Results. Feasibility of digital exercise echocardiography was 84%; 8 of 88 remaining patients had a nondiagnostic exercise echocardiographic test (inadequate exercise or imaging). In 80 patients with feasible and diagnostic digital exercise echocardiography, sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were, respectively, 89%, 91% and 90%. Eighty of the 104 patients underwent transesophageal atrial pacing and dipyridamole echocardiography. Feasibility of the alternative stress procedures was 77% for transesophageal atrial pacing and 96% for dipyridamole. In 60 patients successfully undergoing both alternative stress procedures, sensitivity and specificity were 83% and 76% for atrial pacing and 43% and 92% for dipyridamole echocardiography, respectively. In the group of 24 patients with nondiagnostic exercise echocardiography and consequent indication to alternative stress procedures, accuracy of transesophageal atrial pacing was higher than that of dipyridamole echocardiography (73% vs. 45%, p = 0.06).
Conclusions. Because of its higher diagnostic potential and additional functional information, exercise is the stress of choice when stress echocardiography is used to detect the presence of coronary artery disease. Alternative stresses can be used in patients with nondiagnostic exercise echocardiography. Transesophageal and dipyridamole echocardiography differ in feasibility and diagnostic reliability (higher sensitivity of transesophageal atrial pacing, higher specificity of dipyridamole). These characteristics must be considered when selecting procedures to be used as alternatives to exercise.
↵1 Dr. Marangelli is a recipient of a research doctoral grant in cardiovascular clinics and pathophysiology from the Ministry of Scientific Research and Technological Advancement of the Italian Government, Rome, Italy.
☆ This study was supported in part by the Associazione per la Ricerca in Cardiologia, Bari.
- Received October 7, 1993.
- Revision received January 28, 1994.
- Accepted February 2, 1994.