Echocardiographic detection of coronary artery disease during dobutamine infusion

S. G. Sawada, D. S. Segar, T. Ryan, S. E. Brown, A. M. Dohan, R. Williams, N. S. Fineberg, W. F. Armstrong, H. Feigenbaum

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608 Scopus citations


Background. Two-dimensional echocardiography performed during dobutamine infusion has been proposed as a potentially useful method for detecting coronary artery disease. However, the safety and diagnostic value of dobutamine stress echocardiography has not been established. Methods and Results. In this study, echocardiograms were recorded during step-wise infusion of dobutamine to a maximum dose of 30 μg/kg/min in 103 patients who also underwent quantitative coronary angiography. The echocardiograms were digitally stored and displayed in a format that allowed simultaneous analysis of rest and stress images. Development of a new abnormality in regional function was used as an early end point for the dobutamine infusion. No patient had a symptomatic arrhythmia or complications from stress-induced ischemia. Significant coronary artery disease (≥50% diameter stenosis) was present in 35 of 55 patients who had normal echocardiograms at rest. The sensitivity and specificity of dobutamine-induced wall motion abnormalities for coronary artery disease was 89% (31 of 35) and 85% (17 of 20), respectively. The sensitivity was 81% (17 of 21) in those with one-vessel disease and 100% (14 of 14) in those with multivessel or left main disease. Forty-one of 48 patients with abnormal echocardiograms at baseline had localized rest wall motion abnormalities. Fifteen had coronary artery disease confined to regions that had abnormal rest wall motion, and 26 had disease remote from these regions. Thirteen of 15 patients (87%) without remote disease did not develop remote stress-induced abnormalities, and 21 of 26 (81%) who had remote disease developed corresponding abnormalities. Conclusions. Echocardiography combined with dobutamine infusion is a safe and accurate method for detecting coronary artery disease and for predicting the extent of disease in those who have localized rest wall motion abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1605-1614
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


  • β-adrenergic receptor agonists
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Dobutamine
  • Echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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    Sawada, S. G., Segar, D. S., Ryan, T., Brown, S. E., Dohan, A. M., Williams, R., Fineberg, N. S., Armstrong, W. F., & Feigenbaum, H. (1991). Echocardiographic detection of coronary artery disease during dobutamine infusion. Circulation, 83(5), 1605-1614.