Assessment of coronary artery disease by dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE)

R. K.M. Chan, A. M. Tonkin, S. Byrgiotis, P. Calafiore

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Background: Dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) is a new non‐invasive imaging modality which combines two‐dimensional echocardiography with cardiovascular stress induced by dobutamine infusion. Its use in patients with suspected or documented coronary artery disease (CAD) is currently under extensive investigation. Aims: To illustrate the clinical utility, safety and diagnostic value of DSE. Methods: One hundred and thirty‐seven consecutive patients referred for DSE were studied. Eighty‐four patients also underwent coronary angiography. Results: Eleven patients (8%) did not undergo DSE because of poor image quality. Of the remaining 126 patients, 110 (87%) achieved their target heart rate or reached a pre‐determined end point during DSE. Eight patients (6%) developed non‐cardiac side effects during DSE, none of which required premature termination of the procedure. Cardiac arrhythmias were documented in 15 patients (12%) but only one required intervention. In 84 patients who underwent coronary angiography, DSE showed a sensitivity and specificity of 88% and 83%, respectively, in detecting the presence of, and 75% and 75%o, respectively, in localising significant CAD. In 35 patients who underwent DSE after uncomplicated myocardial infarction, the positive and negative predictive values for cardiac events following infarction in a six‐month follow up period were 74% and 62%, respectively. Conclusions: DSE is a well tolerated, safe and useful test in detecting and localising significant CAD. It can also provide useful post‐infarctional prognostic information. (Aust NZ J Med 1995; 25: 707‐715.) Key words: Echocardiography, dobutamine, coronary artery disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-715
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • coronary artery disease.
  • doubutamine
  • Echocardiagraphy

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