Coronary Artery Spasms Rare During Dobutamine Stress Echo

During a nine-year period, prevalence of coronary artery spasms was 0.4 percent during DSE

FRIDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- The occurrence of coronary artery spasm (CAS) during dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) is rare, with a prevalence of 0.4 percent, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Nicolas Mansencal, M.D., Ph.D., of the Public-Hospital of Paris in Boulogne, France, and colleagues conducted a prospective review of 2,179 patients over age 18 who underwent DSE from November 2001 to October 2010 to assess the prevalence of coronary artery spasm (CAS) during DSE.

The researchers found ST-segment elevation in 21 patients, all of whom underwent emergency coronary angiography. Significant coronary stenosis was seen in 13 of these patients -- seven with chronic coronary occlusion and six with critical coronary stenosis. No significant coronary stenosis was seen in the remaining eight patients, seven of whom were men, with a mean age of 67 years. There was a 0.4 percent prevalence of CAS during DSE.

"In our experience the prevalence of coronary artery spasm during DSE is 0.4 percent. Interestingly, coronary artery spasm may be considered a side effect of dobutamine or could unmask real vasospastic angina," the authors write.

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