Aims: This multisite prospective trial, Stress Echocardiography in Menopausal Women At Risk for Coronary Artery Disease (SMART), aimed to evaluate the prognostic value of contrast stress echocardiography (CSE), coronary artery calcification (CAC), and cardiac biomarkers for prediction of cardiovascular events after 2 and 5 years in early menopausal women experiencing chest pain symptoms or risk factors. This report describes the study design, population, and initial test results at study entry. Methods: From January 2004 through September 2007, 366 early menopausal women (age 54±5 years, Framingham risk score 6.51%±4.4 %, range 1%-27%) referred for stress echocardiography were prospectively enrolled. Image quality was enhanced with an ultrasound contrast agent. Tests for cardiac biomarkers [high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), atrial natriuretic protein (ANP), brain natriuretic protein (BNP), endothelin (ET-1)] and cardiac computed tomography (CT) for CAC were performed. Results: CSE (76% exercise, 24% dobutamine) was abnormal in 42 women (11.5%), and stress electrocardiogram (ECG) was positive in 22 women (6%). Rest BNP correlated weakly with stress wall motion score index (WMSI) (r=0.189, p<0.001). Neither hsCRP, ANP, endothelin, nor CAC correlated with stress WMSI. Predictors of abnormal CSE were body mass index (BMI), diabetes mellitus, family history of premature coronary artery disease (CAD), and positive stress ECG. Twenty-four women underwent clinically indicated coronary angiography (CA); 5 had obstructive (≥50%), 15 had nonobstructive (10%-49%), and 4 had no epicardial CAD. Conclusions: The SMART trial is designed to assess the prognostic value of CSE in early menopausal women. Independent predictors of positive CSE were BMI, diabetes mellitus, family history of premature CAD, and positive stress ECG. CAC scores and biomarkers (with the exception of rest BNP) were not correlated with CSE results. We await the follow-up data.
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