Background: In patients taking digoxin, the exercise electrocardiogram has a lower specificity for detecting coronary artery disease. However, the effect of digoxin on adenosine-induced ST-segment depression is unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the specificity of the electrocardiogram during adenosine myocardial perfusion imaging in patients taking digoxin. Methods: Between May 1991 and September 1997, patients (n = 99) taking digoxin who underwent adenosine stress imaging with thallium-201 or technetium-99m sestamibi and coronary angiography within 3 months were retrospectively identified. Exclusion criteria included prior myocardial infarction, coronary artery angioplasty or bypass surgery, left bundle branch block, paced ventricular rhythm, or significant valvular disease. Twelve-lead electrocardiograms were visually interpreted at baseline, during adenosine infusion, and during the recovery period. The stress electrocardiogram was considered positive if there was ≥1 mm additional horizontal or downsloping ST-segment depression or elevation 0.08 seconds after the J-point compared with the baseline tracing. Results: ST-segment depression and/or elevation occurred in 24 of 99 patients. There were only 2 false-positive stress electrocardiograms, yielding a specificity of 87% and positive predictive value of 92%. All 8 patients with ≥2 mm ST-segment depression had multivessel disease by coronary angiography. Conclusions: ST-segment depression or elevation during adenosine myocardial perfusion imaging in patients taking digoxin is highly specific for coronary artery disease. Marked (≥2 mm) ST-segment depression and/or ST-segment elevation is associated with a high likelihood of multivessel disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine