Background: Exercise electrocardiography is an imperfect test for the detection of coronary artery disease (CAD). Magnetocardiography detects cardiac electrical disturbances associated with myocardial ischemia. We prospectively investigated the accuracy of high-dose dobutamine stress magnetocardiography (DS-MCG) and simultaneous electrocardiography (DS-ECG) for the detection of significant CAD.
Methods: 100 patients with an intermediate pre-test probability for CAD underwent DS-MCG using a multichannel magnetometer prior to invasive coronary angiography. Patients were examined at rest and during a standard dobutamine-atropine scheme. Significant reduction of epicardial current strength/density during stress, reconstructed from the magnetic field map and superposed on a virtual heart model indicates myocardial ischemia. A 12-lead DS-ECG was recorded simultaneously. Significant coronary artery stenosis was defined as > or = 70% of lumen reduction.
Results: Without beta-blocker all 100 patients reached the targeted heart rate. The image quality of DS-MCG and DS-ECG was sufficient for analysis in all patients. In 19 patients CAD was ruled out angiographically. Thirty two or seven patients revealed coronary artery stenoses of 30-49% or of 50-69%, respectively. In 42 patients we found significant stenoses of > or = 70%. In 41 of these patients DS-MCG revealed myocardial ischemia. The sensitivity of DS-MCG and DS-ECG for the detection of significant coronary artery stenosis was 97.6% and 26.2%, the specificity of DS-MCG and DS-ECG 82.8% and 82.8%, respectively.
Conclusions: DS-MCG can be performed with a standard dobutamine/atropine stress protocol. DS-MCG yields a significantly higher accuracy for the detection of significant coronary artery stenosis than DS-ECG.