Typical blood pressure response during dobutamine stress echocardiography of patients without known cardiovascular disease who have normal stress echocardiograms

Sara Abram, Adelaide M Arruda-Olson, Christopher G. Scott, Patricia Pellikka, Vuyisile T Nkomo, Jae Kuen Oh, Alberto Milan, Robert B. McCully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Aims Blood pressure (BP) responses during dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) have not been systematically studied. Consequently, it is not known what constitutes a normal or an abnormal BP response to dobutamine stress.We sought to define the typical BP response during DSE of patients not known to have cardiovascular disease. Methods and results Of 24 134 patients who underwent DSE from November 2003 to December 2012 at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 2968 were selected for inclusion in this retrospective study. Excluded were patients with a history of hypertension, diabetes, or coronary artery disease, and those taking vasoactive medications. Patients who had baseline and/or stress-induced wall motion abnormalities were also excluded. The distribution of the study population's BP responses during DSE was Gaussian; we defined cut-point values for normative BP responses at 2 SD for each decade of age and for the whole study population. During DSE, systolic BP (SBP) increased from baseline to peak stress (D +2.9+24 mmHg, P , 0.0001) and diastolic BP (DBP) decreased (D 27.4+14 mmHg). BP changes were age and sex dependent; men and younger patients had greater DSBP and lesser DDBP, compared with women and older patients. Patients who received atropine had higher peak BP values than patients who did not receive atropine, due to greater DSBP (+7.4+26 vs. 20.5+22 mmHg, P , 0.0001) and lesser DDBP (24+14 vs. 29.7+12 mmHg, P , 0.0001). This atropine effect was present in men and women, and was more pronounced in younger patients. The normative peak SBP values ranged from 82 to 182 mmHg. Conclusion BP responses during DSE vary and depend on patients' age, gender, and the use of atropine.We describe the typical BP responses seen during DSE and report normative reference values, which can be used for defining normal and abnormal BP responses to dobutamine stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-563
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016



  • Atropine
  • Blood pressure
  • Dobutamine stress echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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