Objectives: To compare the accuracy of dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) and simultaneous 99mTc sestamibi (MIBI) single-photon emission CT (SPECT) imaging for the diagnosis of coronary artery stenosis in women.
Patients: Seventy women with limited exercise capacity referred for evaluation of myocardial ischemia.
Methods: DSE (up to 40 µg/kg/min) was performed in conjunction with stress MIBI SPECT. Resting MIBI images were acquired 24 h after the stress test. Ischemia was defined as new or worsened wall motion abnormalities confirmed by DSE and as reversible perfusion defects confirmed by MIBI. Significant coronary artery disease was defined as ≥ 50% luminal diameter stenosis.
Results: DSE was positive for ischemia in 35 of 45 patients with coronary artery stenosis and in 2 of 25 patients without coronary artery stenosis (sensitivity = 78% CI, 68 to 88; specificity = 92% CI, 85 to 99; and accuracy = 83% CI, 74 to 92). A positive MIBI study for ischemia occurred in 29 patients with coronary artery stenosis and in 7 patients without coronary artery stenosis (sensitivity = 64% CI, 53 to 76; specificity = 72% CI, 61 to 83; and accuracy = 67% CI, 56 to 78 [p < 0.05 vs DSE]). In the 59 vascular regions with coronary artery stenosis, the regional sensitivity of DSE was higher than MIBI (69% CI, 62 to 77 vs 51% CI, 42 to 59, p < 0.05), whereas specificity in the 81 vascular regions without significant stenosis was similar (89% CI, 84 to 94 vs 88% CI, 82 to 93, respectively).
Conclusion: DSE is a useful noninvasive method for the diagnosis of coronary artery stenosis in women and provides a higher overall and regional diagnostic accuracy than dobutamine MIBI SPECT in this particular population.