Is the treadmill exercise test useful for evaluating coronary artery disease in patients with complete left bundle branch block?

Am J Cardiol. 1978 Jul;42(1):36-40. doi: 10.1016/0002-9149(78)90981-5.


To aid in the study of coronary artery disease, 57 patients with complete left bundle branch block underwent clinical evaluation, treadmill exercise testing and cardiac catheterization. The patients were classified into two groups according to coronary angiographic findings: 30 patients with significant stenosis (70 percent or greater luminal narrowing) of at least one major vessel and 27 with no significant coronary artery disease. There was no difference in age, presenting symptoms or previous medical treatment between the two groups. There were more men in the group with coronary artery disease. Exercise-induced S-T changes were similar in the two groups; the sensitivity and specificity of these changes for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease were unacceptable irrespective of the criterion chosen. With additional S-T depression of either 1 or 2 mm below the baseline value, the predictive accuracy was only 53 percent. Combined exertional chest pain and 1 mm S-T depression increased the predictive accuracy of exercise testing to 71 percent. These data indicate that exercise-induced electrocardiographic changes do not facilitate detection of coronary artery disease in patients with complete left bundle branch block.

MeSH terms

  • Angina Pectoris / complications
  • Bundle-Branch Block / complications
  • Bundle-Branch Block / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Coronary Disease / diagnosis*
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male