Current status of stress echocardiography in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease
Thomas Marwick, MDAddress reprint requests to T.M., Department of Cardiology, F15, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195.
Stress echocardiography is a cost-effective and reliable diagnostic test for patients with suspected coronary artery disease.KEY POINTS
Stress echocardiography should be used in preference to exercise electrocardiography as the primary test in patients with uninterpretable ST segments. It is attractive for use as the primary test in patients with coexisting valvular disease. It probably is the optimal test for women.
Stress echocardiography should be used as a secondary test when the result of exercise electrocardiography is inconsistent with the clinical status.
In patients requiring nonexercise stress testing, an imaging test is mandatory.
The ability of stress echocardiography to identify the location and extent of myocardial ischemia makes it appropriate in situations where decisions regarding revascularization will be made on these grounds.
The overall accuracy of stress echocardiography and perfusion scintigraphy is comparable in expert hands, but one must always consider the expertise of the operator and the quality of each test in the environment in which it is performed.