Sicari, R × Nihoyannopoulos, P Evangelista, A Kasprzak, J Lancellotti, P Poldermans, D Voigt, Jens-Uwe Zamorano, JL #
European heart journal vol:30 issue:3 pages:278-289
Stress echocardiography is the combination of echocardiography with a physical, pharmacological, or electrical stress. The diagnostic endpoint for the detection of myocardial ischaemia is the induction of a transient worsening in regional function during stress. Stress echocardiography provides similar diagnostic and prognostic accuracy to radionuclide stress perfusion imaging, but at a substantially lower cost, without environmental impact, and with no biohazards for the patient and the physician.
Among different stresses of comparable diagnostic and prognostic accuracy, semisupine exercise is the most used, dobutamine the best test for viability, and dipyridamole the safest and simplest pharmacological stress and the most suitable for combined wall motion coronary flow reserve assessment. The additional clinical benefit of myocardial perfusion contrast echocardiography and myocardial velocity imaging has been inconsistent to date, whereas the possibility of performing coronary flow reserve evaluation of the left anterior descending coronary artery by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography adds another potentially important dimension to stress echocardiography. New emerging fields of application taking advantage of the versatility of the technique are Doppler stress echo in valvular heart disease and in dilated cardiomyopathy. In spite of its dependence on the operator's training, stress echocardiography is today the best (most cost-effective and risk-effective) possible imaging choice to achieve the still elusive target of sustainable cardiac imaging in the field of non-invasive diagnosis of coronary artery disease.