OBJECTIVES: We sought to characterize patients with a hypertensive response during exercise echocardiography and its effect on results of the test. BACKGROUND: A hypertensive response to exercise has been shown to cause false-positive results in perfusion imaging, radionuclide angiography and exercise electrocardiography, but its influence on exercise echocardiography has not been reported. METHODS: We identified 548 of 6,686 patients who had coronary angiography within four weeks after exercise echocardiography from 1992 through 1996. Echocardiographic results from 132 patients (24%) with a hypertensive response to exercise, defined as systolic blood pressure (SBP) >220 mm Hg for men and SBP >190 mm Hg for women or as an increase in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) >10 mm Hg or DBP >90 mm Hg during exercise echocardiography, were compared with those from 416 patients without a hypertensive response. RESULTS: Of 132 patients with a hypertensive response to exercise, 108 patients had exercise echocardiographic results positive for ischemia. Of these patients, 24 (22%) were found to have no significant coronary artery disease (CAD). In contrast, of 320 patients with positive exercise echocardiographic results without a hypertensive response, 39 (12%) patients did not have significant CAD. Among the false-positive results, new wall motion abnormalities were extensive in 15 of 24 (63%) hypertensive responders involving >25% of segments compared with 14 of 39 nonhypertensive responders (36%, p = 0.012). CONCLUSIONS: An excessive rise in blood pressure during exercise is associated with a greater likelihood of new or worsening abnormalities with exercise, which may be observed in the absence of angiographically significant coronary artery stenosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine