Background—The purpose of this study was to assess the long-term value of dobutamine-atropine stress echocardiography (DSE) for prediction of late cardiac events in patients with proven or suspected coronary artery disease. Methods and Results—Clinical data and DSE results were analyzed in 1734 consecutive patients undergoing DSE between 1989 and 1997. Seventy-four patients who underwent revascularization within 3 months of DSE and 1 patient lost to follow-up were excluded; the remaining 1659 (median age, 62 years; range, 14 to 99 years) were followed up for 36 months (range, 6 to 96 months). Wall motion abnormalities at rest and the presence and extent of stress-induced wall motion abnormalities (ischemia) were scored for each patient. Cardiac events were related to clinical and ECG data and DSE results. Four hundred twenty-eight cardiac events occurred in 366, documented cardiac death in 108 (total death, 247), nonfatal infarction in 128, and late revascularization in 192 patients. In a multivariable Cox proportional-hazards model, the ratio of documented cardiac death or (re)infarction was increased in the presence of stress-induced ischemia (hazard ratio, 3.3; 95% CI, 2.4 to 4.4) and extensive rest wall motion abnormalities (hazard ratio, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.6). The number of ischemic segments was predictive for late cardiac events. A normal DSE carried a relatively good prognosis, with an annual event rate of cardiac death or infarction of 1.3% over a 5-year period. Conclusions—In a large group of patients, DSE has an added value for predicting late cardiac events during long-term follow-up, improving the separation between high- risk and very-low-risk patients.

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Circulation (Baltimore)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Poldermans, D., Fioretti, P., Boersma, E., Bax, J., Thomson, I., Roelandt, J., & Simoons, M. (1999). Long-Term Prognostic Value of Dobutamine-Atropine Stress Echocardiography in 1737 Patients With Known or Suspected Coronary Artery Disease. Circulation (Baltimore), 99, 757–762. Retrieved from