Author + information
- Received January 13, 1994
- Revision received April 11, 1994
- Accepted April 26, 1994
- Published online October 1, 1994.
- David S. Bach, MD, FACC∗,
- David W.M. Muller, MBBS, FACC, FRACP,
- Bernard J. Gros, MD and
- William F. Armstrong, MD, FACC
- ↵∗Address for correspondence: Dr. David S. Bach, University of Michigan, UH 9D 9800, Box 0119, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0119.
Objectives. This study was designed to characterize the clinical, echocardiographic and angiographic findings in patients who have regional wall motion abnormalities predictive of coronary artery disease on dobutamine stress echocardiograms, although coronary angiography reveals no critical stenoses.
Background. The specificity of dobutamine stress echocardiography has been reported to be lower than its sensitivity; the sources of false positive findings on dobutamine stress echocardiograms have not been previously defined.
Methods. Clinical and echocardiographic characteristics were retrospectively reviewed for patients who had both a dobutamine stress echocardiogram indicate of coronary artery disease on the basis of wall motion abnormalities and <50% stenoses reported on coronary angiography performed within 6 weeks of the echocardiogram. A 16-segment model was used to perform wall motion scoring. Angiograms were independently reviewed, and stenosis severity was quantified with the use of digital calipers.
Results. Thirty-nine (11.4%) of 342 studies met criteria for false positive test results, which occurred predominantly in women (72%, p < 0.601). Regional wall motion abnormalities were evident more often in the posterior circulation (62%), and 65% of them were limited to the basal segments. Twelve (28%) of 43 wall motion abnormalities were associated with coronary stenoses of at least intermediate grade (lumen diameter 40.3% to 68.1%). Abnormalities confined to basal segments of the posterior circulation were unlikely to have associated coronary lesions (p = 0.03).
Conclusions. False positive findings on dobutamine stress echocardiograms tend to involve small wall motion abnormalities that are frequently located in basal segments of the posterior myocardial circulation. Approximately one third of false positive results occurred in patients with intermediate-grade coronary stenoses, and these studies may reflect true inducible ischemia. Additional sources of false positive study results may include poor endocardial visualization and abnormal motion dye to tethering to the fibrous skeleton of the heart. Altered echocardiographic diagnostic criteria may be appropriate for small wall motion abnormalities confined to basal segments of the posterior circulation.
☆ This study was performed without grant support.
- Received January 13, 1994.
- Revision received April 11, 1994.
- Accepted April 26, 1994.