Significance of ST depression during exercise treadmill stress and adenosine infusion myocardial perfusion imaging

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Abstract

Background: ST segment depression on the electrocardiogram during the exercise treadmill test (ETT) is used as a predictor of coronary artery disease (CAD), although it is recognised that both false-positive and false-negative results limit the value of this procedure. Although adenosine does not produce an inotropic or chronotropic effect upon the myocardium it may cause ST depression during infusion. Methods: The 12-lead ECG recordings obtained during 825 adenosine stress and 425 ETT procedures, performed as part of a 2-day Tc-MIBI protocol, were retained for examination and comparison with the appearances at subsequent myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI). Results: ST depression was associated with 44 (4.9%) of the adenosine stress and 44 (10.4%) of the ETT procedures. Both 1 and 2 mm ST depression during adenosine stress were significant predictors of reversible ischaemia (p < 0.01; p < 0.01). However, even though 2 mm ST depression on ETT was significant as a predictor of reversible ischaemia (p < 0.01), 1 mm ST depression on ETT was not (p = 0.4). There were more female cases with false positive ECG changes in both the adenosine stress (63.6%) group and the ETT (66.7%) group. There was no significant correlation between the territory of the ischaemic changes seen on the ECG with the location of defects developing on MPI in both the adenosine stress and ETT groups.Conclusions: ST depression of 1 mm occurring with adenosine stress, unlike with the ETT, is a significant predictor of ischaemia.