Safety of dobutamine stress echocardiography in patients with aortic stenosis

Manolis Bountioukos, Miklos D. Kertai, Arend F.L. Schinkel, Eleni C. Vourvouri, Vittoria Rizzello, Boudewijn J. Krenning, Jeroen J. Bax, Jos R.T.C. Roelandt, Don Poldermans

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Background and aim of the study: Aortic valve disease is becoming one of the most important cardiac diseases in western society. Low-dose dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) is recommended in patients with low-gradient aortic stenosis (AS) and severe left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. DSE is also used in patients with AS and moderately reduced or normal LV function for diagnostic purposes. The study aim was to assess the safety of DSE in the setting of AS and various degrees of LV dysfunction. Methods: A total of 75 patients with AS who underwent DSE at the authors' center between 1997 and 2001 was reviewed. Group A patients (n = 20) had severely reduced mean LV ejection fraction (LVEF) of 25 ± 6% and underwent low-dose DSE; group B patients (n = 55) had moderate to normal LV function (LVEF 51 ± 8%) and underwent high-dose DSE. The mean pressure gradient, valve area and side effects after DSE were evaluated. Results: Serious cardiac arrhythmias occurred in 10 patients. In group A, four patients (20%) developed non-sustained ventricular tachycardia. In group B, two patients (4%) had non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT), four (7%) had paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardias, and two (4%) severe symptomatic hypotension. Among the 20 patients with evidence of ischemia on DSE, three developed adverse side effects (no difference compared with patients without ischemia; p = 0.922). Fourteen patients received atropine during DSE, and 1 of these developed non-sustained VT after atropine administration. Conclusion: Serious cardiac arrhythmias occur frequently during both low-dose and high-dose DSE in patients with AS. Adverse side effects do not relate to stress-induced ischemia or atropine addition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-446
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Heart Valve Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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    Bountioukos, M., Kertai, M. D., Schinkel, A. F. L., Vourvouri, E. C., Rizzello, V., Krenning, B. J., Bax, J. J., Roelandt, J. R. T. C., & Poldermans, D. (2003). Safety of dobutamine stress echocardiography in patients with aortic stenosis. Journal of Heart Valve Disease, 12(4), 441-446.