The role of stress echocardiography in the prognostic evaluation of patients with angina pectoris is not well defined. This study included 437 patients (241 men and 196 women) with angina pectoris and a pretest probability of coronary artery disease (CAD) of ≥0.7 who were referred for exercise echocardiography. No patient had a history of acute myocardial infarction or coronary revascularization. Mean age was 65 ± 10 years. During a median follow-up of 2.7 years, hard cardiac events (cardiac death or nonfatal myocardial infarction) occurred in 19 patients and 53 patients underwent coronary revascularization. Event-free survival rates in patients with normal versus abnormal stress echocardiograms were 98% versus 83% at 1 year, 96% versus 75% at 3 years, and 87% versus 69% at 5 years, respectively. In a multivariate analysis of clinical, exercise stress, and echocardiographic parameters, independent predictors of hard cardiac events were Q waves on the electrocardiogram (chi-square 8.7, p = 0.003) and the presence of wall motion abnormalities during exercise in multivessel distribution (chi-square 5.3, p = 0.02). In an incremental model of clinical, exercise, and echocardiographic variables for the prediction of all cardiac events, the addition of echocardiographic data increased the chi-square of the model from 62 to 78 (p = 0.0003). Exercise echocardiography provides useful information in the risk stratification of patients with suspected CAD and a high pretest probability of CAD. Patients with normal exercise echocardiograms have a low event rate and therefore can be exempted from invasive procedures during the 3 years after a normal exercise echocardiogram.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine