Low yield of stress imaging in a population-based study of asymptomatic patients after percutaneous coronary intervention

Tyler Peterson, J. Wells Askew, Malcolm Bell, Daniel Crusan, David Hodge, Raymond J. Gibbons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background-Little is known about the clinical value of stress imaging studies in asymptomatic patients after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Methods and Results-Residents of Olmsted County, MN, who underwent PCI were followed up for the occurrence of stress imaging (stress nuclear or stress echocardiography), coronary angiography, or coronary artery bypass grafting (without angiography) as initial procedures after PCI. Patients whose frst follow-up procedure was a stress imaging test were evaluated for their symptom status at the time of the study and whether they underwent angiography or revascularization (PCI or coronary artery bypass grafting) within 90 days. Of 1848 patients who underwent PCI during the study period, 710 (38%) had stress imaging as their initial procedure after PCI, and 241 (13% of the entire cohort) were asymptomatic at the time of testing. The majority (86%) of these 241 patients underwent PCI for acute myocardial infarction or unstable angina. Within 90 days of stress imaging, 16 of the 241 asymptomatic patients underwent angiography, and 2 patients were revascularized. Stratifed by timing after PCI, none of 138 asymptomatic patients tested within 2 years of PCI underwent revascularization. Two of 103 asymptomatic patients tested after 2 years from PCI underwent revascularization. Compared with patients who were asymptomatic at the time of stress imaging, patients who did not undergo any follow-up procedures (stress imaging, angiography, or coronary artery bypass grafting) after the index PCI were older, were more likely to have comorbidities, and had signifcantly greater all-cause mortality (P<0.001). Conclusions-In a population-based sample of patients undergoing PCI primarily for acute coronary syndromes, 1 in 8 had subsequent stress imaging when they were asymptomatic. These stress imaging tests resulted in further revascularization in <1% of patients. The low rate of downstream revascularization suggests that stress imaging in asymptomatic patients after PCI has low value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-445
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014



  • Cardiac imaging techniques
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this