Hypotension during dobutamine stress echocardiography: initial description and clinical relevance

Am Heart J. 1992 Feb;123(2):403-7. doi: 10.1016/0002-8703(92)90652-c.


Hypotension during exercise treadmill testing is correlated with the presence of coronary artery disease, its severity, and prognosis. The importance of hypotension during dobutamine stress testing has not been previously reported to our knowledge. We reviewed 43 cases of hypotension occurring in 42 patients out of a total of 116 consecutive stress dobutamine echocardiographic procedures performed in a total of 112 patients. Of the 42 patients with hypotension, 20 underwent cardiac catheterization. Regional wall motion abnormalities induced by dobutamine infusion were found in 13 of these patients, all of whom had significant (greater than or equal to 70% diameter reduction) coronary artery disease. The remaining seven patients without regional wall motion abnormalities did not have significant coronary artery disease at catheterization. Of the remaining 22 patients with dobutamine-induced hypotension, 20 had no induced regional wall motion abnormalities, were not catheterized, and were followed clinically. None of these patients had a cardiac event during a mean follow-up period of 11.5 months. We conclude that hypotension during dobutamine stress echocardiography in the absence of regional wall motion abnormalities does not indicate significant coronary artery disease or portend an adverse prognosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Dobutamine*
  • Echocardiography*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypotension / chemically induced*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis


  • Dobutamine