Exercise electrocardiography (ExECG) is widely employed to assess patients for coronary artery disease but it has limited diagnostic accuracy. Many patients with positive (ischemic) tests based on exercise-induced ST depression undergo secondary evaluation by noninvasive stress imaging. We hypothesized that high functional capacity in patients with positive ExECG could predict: (1) negative results in secondary evaluation by exercise echocardiography (ESE) or myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (MPS) and (2) low mortality on late follow-up. We evaluated 511 consecutive patients (312 men, 199 women; age 51 ± 9 years) referred for ESE or MPS after an ischemic ExECG at a treadmill workload of ≥10 metabolic equivalents. All-cause mortality was also obtained. Of 511 patients, 401 underwent ESE and 110 had MPS for secondary study. ESE was negative in 94% (376 of 401) and positive in 6% (25 of 401). MPS was also negative in 94% (103 of 110) and positive in 6% (7 of 110). Total stress imaging results were negative in 92% (286 of 312) of men and 97% (193 of 199) of women. During follow-up of approximately 6 years, there were 3 deaths with total all-cause mortality of 0.6% and average annual mortality of 0.1%. In conclusion, high functional capacity in patients with an ischemic ExECG predicts a negative ESE or MPS in a large majority of patients and very favorable late survival in both men and women. These results suggest that patients with ischemic ExECGs and a workload of ≥10 metabolic equivalents during ExECG may not require additional noninvasive or invasive evaluation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine