Vasodilator Stress Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography or Contrast Stress Echocardiography Association with Hard Cardiac Events in Suspected Coronary Artery Disease

Nicola Gaibazzi, Carmine Siniscalchi, Thomas Richard Porter, Antonio Crocamo, Manuela Basaglia, Francesca Boffetti, Valentina Lorenzoni

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Background: We compared the long-term outcome of subjects without prior cardiac disease who underwent either vasodilator single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) or contrast stress-echocardiography (cSE) for suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods: Subjects who underwent vasodilator SPECT or cSE between 2008 and 2012 for suspected CAD but no history of cardiac disease were included. We retrospectively compared the association of each method with combined all-cause death and nonfatal myocardial infarction and their positive predictive value (PPV) for angiographically obstructive CAD. Results: A total of 1,387 subjects were selected: 497 who underwent SPECT and 890 who underwent cSE. During 4 years of mean follow-up there were 78 hard events in the cSE group and 51 in the SPECT group. Event-free survival in subjects testing positive for ischemia, either with SPECT or cSE, was significantly worse both in the overall population and after propensity matching patients. In multivariable analyses, vasodilator SPECT or cSE demonstrated significant stratification capability with an ischemic test doubling (SPECT) or more than doubling (cSE) the risk of future hard events independently from other variables. PPV of vasodilator SPECT for the diagnosis of obstructive CAD was inferior to vasodilator cSE (PPV = 63% vs 89%, respectively; P <.001). Conclusions: Our study suggests that the associations of vasodilator SPECT or cSE with outcome are comparable, with cSE demonstrating better diagnostic PPV for CAD. The absence of ionizing radiation and anticipated lower costs from higher PPV suggest that vasodilator cSE is a valid alternative to vasodilator SPECT as a gatekeeper in subjects without a prior history of CAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-691
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018



  • Contrast-echocardiography
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Scintigraphy
  • Single photon emission computed tomography
  • Stress-echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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