There has been only modest clinical interest in exercise echocardiography because of the technical limitations of the procedure. Recognizing that there have been recent technical advances in the echocardiographic instruments and that echocardiography should, in theory, be an ideal technique for evaluating exercise-induced wall motion abnormalities, a clinically practical method of performing exercise echocardiograms was developed. By obtaining the echocardiograms immediately after treadmill exercise, with the patient sitting at the treadmill, a high percent of studies adequate for interpretation was obtained (92%). The addition of echocardiography to the treadmill exercise test significantly enhanced the diagnostic yield. In addition, in cases of one and three vessel disease, exercise echocardiography identified stenosis in specific coronary arteries. In patients with two vessel disease and left circumflex obstruction, specific vessel identification was less reliable. A high percent of patients with multivessel disease developed wall motion abnormalities with exercise that persisted for at least 30 minutes. It is concluded that echocardiography performed immediately after exercise with the new generation of echocardiographs can be a practical and useful clinical tool.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine