Objective: To assess stress single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and stress echocardiography use after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and their effect on referral for coronary angiography and revascularization. Patients and Methods: The referral, timing, and results of stress imaging after CABG; referral for coronary angiography and revascularization; and all-cause mortality were assessed in this longitudinal, populationbased, retrospective study of 1138 Olmsted County, Minnesota, patients undergoing CABG between January 1, 1993, and December 31, 2003. Results: A total of 570 patients (50.1%) underwent a stress imaging study (341 SPECT and 229 echocardiography) during the study period. Of the 1138 patients, 372 (32.7%) were referred for coronary angiography, and 144 of those patients (12.7%) underwent repeated revascularization (132 percutaneous revascularization and 12 CABG). The median interval between CABG and the index stress imaging study was 3.0 years (25th-75th percentile, 1.2-5.7 years). The results of 75.7% (258 of 341) of the stress SPECT studies and 70.7% (162 of 229) of the stress echocardiograms were abnormal. Seventy-six of 570 patients (13.3%) referred for stress imaging underwent coronary angiography within 180 days after the stress test. Repeated coronary revascularization was performed in 25 patients (4.4%) who underwent a stress imaging study within the preceding 180 days. The 5- and 10-year survival rates in the entire study cohort (83.5% and 65.1%, respectively) were not significantly different than predicted for the age- and sex-matched Minnesota population. Conclusion: Half of this community-based population of patients with CABG underwent stress SPECT or echocardiography during median follow-up of 8.9 years. Despite that approximately 75% of the results of stress imaging studies were abnormal, subsequent referral for coronary angiography within 180 days was low (13.3%), and the yield for repeated revascularization was very low (4.4%).
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