Dobutamine digital echocardiography for detecting coronary artery disease

Am J Cardiol. 1991 Jun 15;67(16):1311-8. doi: 10.1016/0002-9149(91)90457-v.


To assess the value of dobutamine echocardiography for detecting coronary artery disease (CAD), 70 men (mean age 62 +/- 8 years) presenting for coronary angiography were prospectively studied. Dobutamine (2.5 to 40 micrograms/kg/min) was infused in 3-minute stages. Digital echocardiograms were recorded on-line at baseline, during low- and high-dose dobutamine infusion, and at recovery. An echocardiogram positive for CAD was defined as one showing a new wall motion abnormality induced by dobutamine. Compared with coronary angiography, the overall sensitivity of dobutamine echocardiography for detecting CAD was 86%, specificity 95% and accuracy 89%. The sensitivity for detecting 3-vessel CAD was 100%, 89% for 2-vessel and 69% for 1-vessel CAD. The accuracy of predicting multivessel disease by 2 methods was 71% and 84%, respectively. Heart rate at the echocardiographic ischemic threshold was lower in patients with 3- and 2-vessel CAD versus 1-vessel CAD (89 +/- 17, 95 +/- 18 and 118 +/- 18 beats/min, respectively, p less than 0.01); rate-pressure product was also lower in patients with 3- and 2-vessel CAD versus 1-vessel CAD (12.7 +/- 3.6, 13.7 +/- 2.8 and 18.9 +/- 44 x 10(3) beats/min x mm Hg, respectively, p less than 0.01). Heart rate was the most important physiologic determinant of ischemia induced by dobutamine. There were no major complications during the study. Thus, dobutamine digital echocardiography is an excellent test for identifying CAD and should be beneficial in patients unable to exercise.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dobutamine* / adverse effects
  • Echocardiography*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Exercise Test
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Dobutamine