Frequency, Predictors, and Implications of Abnormal Blood Pressure Responses during Dobutamine Stress Echocardiography

Sara Abram, Adelaide M. Arruda-Olson, Christopher G. Scott, Patricia A. Pellikka, Vuyisile T. Nkomo, Jae K. Oh, Alberto Milan, Mohamed M. Abidian, Robert B. McCully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background - It is not known whether abnormal blood pressure (BP) responses during dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) are associated with abnormal test results, nor if such results indicate obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD). We sought to define the frequency of abnormal BP responses during DSE and their impact on accuracy of test results. Methods and Results - We studied 21 949 patients who underwent DSE at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, grouped by peak systolic BP achieved during the test. We also analyzed a subgroup who underwent coronary angiography within 30 days after positive DSE. The positive predictive value of DSE was calculated for each BP group. Patients with hypertensive response (n=1905; 9%) were more likely to have positive DSE than those with normal (n=19 770; 90%) or hypotensive (n=274; 1%) BP responses (32% versus 21% versus 23%, respectively; P<0.0001). Angiography, performed in 1126 patients, showed obstructive CAD (≥50% stenosis) in 814 patients and severe CAD (≥70% stenosis) in 708 patients. Positive predictive value of DSE was similar for patients who had hypertensive and normal BP responses (69% versus 73%; P=0.3), considering 50% stenosis cut point. The proportion of severe CAD (≥70% stenosis) was lower in patients who had hypertensive response compared with those who had normal BP response (54% versus 65%; P=0.005). Conclusions - Patients with hypertensive response during DSE are more likely to have stress-induced myocardial ischemia compared with those with normal or hypotensive BP responses but are not more likely to have false-positive DSE results. They are, however, less likely to have higher grade or multivessel CAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere005444
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • blood pressure
  • coronary angiography
  • coronary artery disease
  • dobutamine
  • echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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