Long-term prognostic value of stress echocardiography in patients presenting to the ED with spontaneous chest pain

Published:March 28, 2014DOI:



      The aims of this study were to evaluate the long-term prognostic value of stress echocardiography (SE) in patients evaluated in emergency department (ED) and to determine SE parameters that best predicted outcome.


      Between June 2008 and July 2012, 626 patients with an episode of spontaneous chest pain underwent SE (exercise stress echocardiography or dobutamine stress echocardiography [DSE]). Between December 2012 and January 2013, all patients were contacted to verify the occurrence of cardiac events. Patients were divided in 3 subgroups according to peak stress Wall Motion Score Index (pWMSI): normal peak wall motion (pWMSI, 1; group A1), mild to moderate peak asynergy (pWMSI, 1.1-1.7; group A2), and severe peak asynergy (pWMSI, >1.7; group A3).


      Stress echocardiography showed inducible ischemia in 159 patients (25%); it was negative in 425 (68%) and inconclusive in 42 (7%). Patients with cardiac events more frequently showed inducible ischemia (50% vs 26%; P = .015) compared with patients with good prognosis; a normal SE (14% vs 61%) was significantly less common. At a multivariate regression analysis, an increased pWMSI (relative risk: 9.816, 95% confidence interval: 3.665-26.290; P < .0001) was independently associated with a bad outcome. Cumulative event-free survival was significantly worse with an increasing degree of peak wall motion asynergy (99% in group A1; 96%, group A2; and 88% in group A3; P = .011 between A1 and A2 groups, P = .012 between A2 and A3 groups, and P < .0001 between A1 and A3 groups).


      Stress echocardiography showed an optimal prognostic value among ED patients evaluated for chest pain. The presence of an extensive asynergic area at peak stress was associated with an adverse prognosis.
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