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Dobutamine stress echocardiography: a review and update

Authors Gilstrap L, Bhatia RS, Weiner R, Dudzinski D

Received 30 October 2013

Accepted for publication 23 December 2013

Published 5 April 2014 Volume 2014:5 Pages 69—81


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Lauren Gray Gilstrap,1 R Sacha Bhatia,2 Rory B Weiner,3 David M Dudzinski3

1Division of Cardiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; 2Institute for Health Systems Solutions, Women's College Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada; 3Cardiology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Abstract: Stress echocardiography is a noninvasive cardiovascular diagnostic test that provides functional and hemodynamic information in the assessment of a number of cardiac diseases. Performing stress echocardiography with a pharmacologic agent such as dobutamine allows for simulation of increased heart rate and increased myocardial physiologic demands in patients who may be unable to exercise due to musculoskeletal or pulmonary comorbidities. Dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE), like exercise echocardiography, has found its primary application in ischemic heart disease, with roles in identification of obstructive epicardial coronary artery disease, detection of viable myocardium, and assessment of the efficacy of anti-ischemic medical therapy in patients with known coronary artery disease. DSE features prominently in the evaluation and management of valvular heart disease by helping to assess the effects of mitral and aortic stenoses, as well as a specific use in differentiating true severe valvular aortic stenosis from pseudostenosis that may occur in the setting of left ventricular systolic dysfunction. DSE is generally well tolerated, and its side effects and contraindications generally relate to consequences of excess inotropic and/or chronotropic stimulation of the heart. The aim of this paper is to review the indications, contraindications, advantages, disadvantages, and risks of DSE.

Keywords: stress echocardiography, dobutamine, coronary artery disease, myocardial ischemia

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