681 research outputs found

    The diagnostic accuracy of pharmacological stress echocardiography for the assessment of coronary artery disease: a meta-analysis

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Recent American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines state that "dobutamine stress echo has substantially higher sensitivity than vasodilator stress echo for detection of coronary artery stenosis" while the European Society of Cardiology guidelines and the European Association of Echocardiography recommendations conclude that "the two tests have very similar applications". Who is right?</p> <p>Aim</p> <p>To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of dobutamine versus dipyridamole stress echocardiography through an evidence-based approach.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>From PubMed search, we identified all papers with coronary angiographic verification and head-to-head comparison of dobutamine stress echo (40 mcg/kg/min ± atropine) versus dipyridamole stress echo performed with state-of-the art protocols (either 0.84 mg/kg in 10' plus atropine, or 0.84 mg/kg in 6' without atropine). A total of 5 papers have been found. Pooled weight meta-analysis was performed.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>the 5 analyzed papers recruited 435 patients, 299 with and 136 without angiographically assessed coronary artery disease (quantitatively assessed stenosis > 50%). Dipyridamole and dobutamine showed similar accuracy (87%, 95% confidence intervals, CI, 83–90, vs. 84%, CI, 80–88, p = 0.48), sensitivity (85%, CI 80–89, vs. 86%, CI 78–91, p = 0.81) and specificity (89%, CI 82–94 vs. 86%, CI 75–89, p = 0.15).</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>When state-of-the art protocols are considered, dipyridamole and dobutamine stress echo have similar accuracy, specificity and – most importantly – sensitivity for detection of CAD. European recommendations concluding that "<it>dobutamine and vasodilators (at appropriately high doses) are equally potent ischemic stressors for inducing wall motion abnormalities in presence of a critical coronary artery stenosis</it>" are evidence-based.</p

    Complications during pharmacological stress echocardiography: a video-case series

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    BACKGROUND: Stress echocardiography is a cost-effective tool for the modern noninvasive diagnosis of coronary artery disease. Several physical and pharmacological stresses are used in combination with echocardiographic imaging, usually exercise, dobutamine and dipyridamole. The safety of a stress is (or should be) a major determinant in the choice of testing. Although large scale single center experiences and multicenter trial information are available for both dobutamine and dipyridamole stress echo testing, complications or side effects still can occur even in the most experienced laboratories with the most skilled operators. CASE PRESENTATION: We decided to present a case collection of severe complications during pharmacological stress echo testing, including a ventricular tachycardia, cardiogenic shock, transient ischemic attack, torsade de pointe, fatal ventricular fibrillation, and free wall rupture. CONCLUSION: We believe that, in this field, every past complication described is a future complication avoided; what happens in your lab is more true of what you read in journals; and Good Clinical Practice is not "not having complications", but to describe the complications you had

    Anti-ischemic therapy and stress testing: pathophysiologic, diagnostic and prognostic implications

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    Anti-ischemic therapy, in particular beta-blockers, is the most commonly employed drug for the control of myocardial ischemia in patients with stable coronary artery disease. Its widespread use also in patients with suspected coronary artery disease has important practical, clinical diagnostic and prognostic implications because diagnostic tests are heavily influenced by its effects. In the present review, the pathophysiological mechanisms of ischemia protection by antianginal therapy are described. Not all stressors are created equal in front of the different classes of antianginal drugs and on their turn the different classes of drugs exert different levels of protection on inducible ischemia. Several clinical implications can be drawn: From the diagnostic viewpoint antianginal therapy decreases test sensitivity, offsetting the real ischemic burden for a too high percentage of false negative tests. From the prognostic viewpoint test positivity in medical therapy identifies a group of subjects at higher risk of experiencing cardiac death and positivity on medical therapy can be considered a parameter of ischemia severity. Nonetheless in patients with known coronary artery disease the ability of antianginal therapy to modify the ischemic threshold at stress testing represent a powerful means to assess therapy efficacy. From a practical viewpoint, the use of antianginal therapy at time of testing has advantages and disadvantages which are largely dependent on the purpose a test is performed: if the purpose of testing is to diagnose ischemia, it should be performed in the absence of antianginal medications. If the purpose of testing is to assess the protective effects of antianginal therapy, the test should be performed on medications

    Relevance of tissue Doppler in the quantification of stress echocardiography for the detection of myocardial ischemia in clinical practice

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    In the present article we review the main published data on the application of Tissue Doppler Imaging (TDI) to stress echocardiography for the detection of myocardial ischemia. TDI has been applied to stress echocardiography in order to overcome the limitations of visual analysis for myocardial ischemia. The introduction of a new technology for clinical routine use should pass through the different phases of scientific assessment from feasibility studies to large multicenter studies, from efficacy to effectiveness studies. Nonetheless the pro-technology bias plays a major role in medicine and expensive and sophisticated techniques are accepted before their real usefulness and incremental value to the available ones is assessed. Apparently, TDI is not exempted by this approach : its applications are not substantiated by strong and sound results. Nonetheless, conventional stress echocardiography for myocardial ischemia detection is heavily criticized on the basis of its subjectivity. Stress echocardiography has a long lasting history and the evidence collected over 20 years positioned it as an established tool for the detection and prognostication of coronary artery disease. The quantitative assessment of myocardial ischemia remains a scientific challenge and a clinical goal but time has not come for these newer ultrasonographic techniques which should be restricted to research laboratories

    The impact of carotid plaque presence and morphology on mortality outcome in cardiological patients

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    BACKGROUND: Carotid plaque severity and morphology can affect cardiovascular prognosis. We evaluate both the importance of echographically assessed carotid artery plaque geometry and morphology as predictors of death in hospitalised cardiological patients. METHODS: 541 hospitalised patients admitted in a cardiological division (age = 66 ± 11 years, 411 men), have been studied through ultrasound Duplex carotid scan and successively followed-up for a median of 34 months. Echo evaluation assessed plaque severity and morphology (presence of heterogeneity and profile). RESULTS: 361 patients showed carotid stenosis (67% with <50% stenosis, 18% with 50–69% stenosis, 9% with >70% stenosis, 4% with near occlusion and 2% with total occlusion). During the follow-up period, there were 83 all-cause deaths (15% of the total population). Using Cox's proportional hazard model, age (RR 1.06, 95% CI 1.03–1.09, p = 0.000), ejection fraction > 50% (RR = 0.62, 95% CI 0.4–0.96, p = 0.03), treatment with statins (RR = 0.52, 95% CI 0.29–0.95, p = 0.34) and the presence of a heterogeneous plaque (RR 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2 to 2.14, p = 0.002) were independent predictors of death. Kaplan – Meier survival estimates have shown the best outcome in patients without plaque, intermediate in patients with homogeneous plaques and the worst outcome in patients with heterogeneous plaques (90% vs 79% vs 73%, p = 0.0001). CONCLUSION: In hospitalised cardiological patients, carotid plaque presence and morphology assessed by ultrasound are independent predictors of death

    Head to head comparison of 2D vs real time 3D dipyridamole stress echocardiography

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    Real-time three-dimensional (RT-3D) echocardiography has entered the clinical practice but true incremental value over standard two-dimensional echocardiography (2D) remains uncertain when applied to stress echo. The aim of the present study is to establish the additional value of RT-3D stress echo over standard 2D stress echocardiography. We evaluated 23 consecutive patients (age = 65 ± 10 years, 16 men) referred for dipyridamole stress echocardiography with Sonos 7500 (Philips Medical Systems, Palo, Alto, CA) equipped with a phased – array 1.6–2.5 MHz probe with second harmonic capability for 2D imaging and a 2–4 MHz matrix-phased array transducer producing 60 × 70 volumetric pyramidal data containing the entire left ventricle for RT-3D imaging. In all patients, images were digitally stored in 2D and 3D for baseline and peak stress with a delay between acquisitions of less than 60 seconds. Wall motion analysis was interpreted on-line for 2D and off-line for RT-3D by joint reading of two expert stress ecocardiographist. Segmental image quality was scored from 1 = excellent to 5 = uninterpretable. Interpretable images were obtained in all patients. Acquisition time for 2D images was 67 ± 21 sec vs 40 ± 22 sec for RT-3D (p = 0.5). Wall motion analysis time was 2.8 ± 0.5 min for 2D and 13 ± 7 min for 3D (p = 0.0001). Segmental image quality score was 1.4 ± 0.5 for 2D and 2.6 ± 0.7 for 3D (p = 0.0001). Positive test results was found in 5/23 patients. 2D and RT-3D were in agreement in 3 out of these 5 positive exams. Overall stress result (positive vs negative) concordance was 91% (Kappa = 0.80) between 2D and RT-3D. During dipyridamole stress echocardiography RT-3D imaging is highly feasible and shows a high concordance rate with standard 2D stress echo. 2D images take longer time to acquire and RT-3D is more time-consuming to analyze. At present, there is no clear clinical advantage justifying routine RT-3D stress echocardiography use
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