Functional and prognostic significance of exercise-induced ventricular arrhythmias in patients with suspected coronary artery disease

Am J Cardiol. 2002 Jul 15;90(2):95-100. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(02)02428-1.


Our aims were to assess (1) the relation between exercise-induced ventricular arrhythmia (VA) and myocardial wall motion abnormalities during exercise echocardiography in patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD), and (2) the effect of this relation on outcome. We studied the clinical and prognostic significance of exercise-induced VA in 1,460 patients (mean age 64 +/- 10 years; 867 men) with intermediate pretest probability of CAD and no history of previous myocardial infarction or revascularization who underwent exercise echocardiography. Exercise-induced VA occurred in 146 patients (10%). Compared with patients without VA, those with VA had a greater prevalence of abnormal exercise echocardiographic findings (48% vs 29%, p = 0.001) and ischemia on exercise echocardiography (39% vs 22%, p = 0.001), greater increase in wall motion score index with exercise (0.14 +/- 0.28 vs 0.06 +/- 0.18, p <0.0001), and a greater percentage of abnormal segments with exercise (21 +/- 30% vs 9 +/- 19%, p <0.0001). During follow-up (median 2.7 years), cardiac death and nonfatal myocardial infarction occurred in 36 patients. In multivariate analysis of combined clinical and exercise stress test variables, independent predictors of cardiac events were exercise-induced VA (chi-square 4.7, p = 0.03) and exercise heart rate (chi-square 18, p = 0.0001). The percentage of abnormal myocardial segments with exercise echocardiography was the most powerful predictor of VA (chi-square 31, p = 0.0001) and cardiac events (chi-square 15, p = 0.0001). In patients with suspected CAD, exercise-induced VA is associated with a greater risk of cardiac death and nonfatal myocardial infarction. This risk is attributed to the relation between VA and the extent and severity of left ventricular functional abnormalities with exercise.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology*
  • Echocardiography
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Revascularization
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / diagnosis*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / epidemiology*
  • Ventricular Premature Complexes / diagnosis*
  • Ventricular Premature Complexes / epidemiology*