Dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) has good diagnostic accuracy for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD). However, in most published diagnostic studies, patients are predominantly men. In women, diagnostic accuracy may be lower because of a lower prevalence and extent of CAD, a higher incidence of dobutamine stress-induced hypotension (resulting in less stress or even nondiagnostic test results), smaller left ventricular chamber size, and the beneficial effects of estrogens on the induction of myocardial ischemia. To determine the diagnostic accuracy of DSE in women, 14 diagnostic studies published through 2006 were identified through a Medline search. For a total of 901 patients, the weighted mean sensitivity and specificity were 72% and 88%, respectively. In 7 studies directly comparing results in women and men, conflicting results were reported. However, pooled data showed nearly identical values for sensitivity and specificity in women and men. Additionally, in 6 studies directly comparing DSE results in women with those of stress nuclear scintigraphy, DSE was as sensitive and more specific to detect CAD (90% vs 70%, p <0.0001). The excellent specificity of DSE in women was also confirmed by excellent normalcy rates, ranging from 92% to 100% in women, with a <5% pretest probability of CAD. In conclusion, despite some theoretical limitations, DSE has reasonable sensitivity and excellent specificity for the detection of CAD in women. Considering the diagnostic problems of exercise electrocardiography and nuclear scintigraphy in women, stress echocardiography may be the stress modality of choice in women because of its superior diagnostic specificity.,
The American Journal of Cardiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Geleijnse, M., Krenning, B., Soliman, O. I. I., Nemes, A., Galema, T., & ten Cate, F. (2007). Dobutamine Stress Echocardiography for the Detection of Coronary Artery Disease in Women. The American Journal of Cardiology (Vol. 99, pp. 714–717). doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2006.09.124