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Quantitative approach using multiple single parameters versus visual assessment in dobutamine stress echocardiography

Jelena Celutkiene1*, Diana Zakarkaite2, Viktor Skorniakov3, Vida Zvironaite12, Virginija Grabauskiene2, Jelizaveta Burca1, Laura Ciparyte1 and Aleksandras Laucevicius12

Author Affiliations

1 Centre of Innovative Medicine, Zygimantu 9, LT-01102, Vilnius, Lithuania

2 Clinic of Cardiovascular diseases, Vilnius University Medical Faculty, Santariskiu 2, LT-08661, Vilnius, Lithuania

3 Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, Vilnius University, Naugarduko 24, LT-03225, Vilnius, Lithuania

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Cardiovascular Ultrasound 2012, 10:31  doi:10.1186/1476-7120-10-31

Published: 30 July 2012



A number of myocardial Doppler-derived velocity, strain myocardial imaging parameters (DMI) and speckle tracking imaging (STI) have been proposed for the quantification of myocardial ischemia during stress echocardiography. The purpose of the study was to identify the best single ultrasound quantitative parameter for prediction of significant coronary stenosis and compare it with visual assessment during dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE).


Prospective analysis included data of 151 patients (age 61.8 ± 9.2) who underwent dobutamine stress echocardiography for known (n = 35) or suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) (n = 36) or symptomatic chest pain (n = 80), excluding patients with previous myocardial infarction. Systolic, post-systolic and diastolic velocities, strain and strain rate parameters were obtained at rest and at peak dobutamine challenge. Derivative markers as E'/A' ratio, post-systolic index and changes from rest to stress were calculated (98 parameters overall, predominantly longitudinal). Coronary angiography was chosen as reference method considering at least one stenosis ≥70% per patient as significant CAD. The predictive value of quantitative parameters and wall motion score index (WMSI) was obtained using logistic regression and ROC analysis.


The value of single parameters discriminated as independent predictors of CAD appeared to be modest (area under the curve [AUC] ranged from 0.63 to 0.72 for 16 PW-DMI, 12 CC-DMI and 12 STI markers), comparing to AUC of WMSI 0.88. Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of visual DSE evaluation was 82.4% (95%CI 77.4%; 85.2%), 92.6% (95%CI 83.4%; 97.5%) and 86.0% (95%CI 79.5%; 89.6%), respectively, Youden index 0.75. Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of single predictors ranged from 40.0% to 93.3% (95% CI 22.7%; 99.2%), from 34.2% to 88.7% (95% CI 25.6%; 94.1%) and from 45.8% to 80.0% (95% CI 37.5%; 87.2%) respectively, Youden index ranged from 0.20 to 0.52.


Multiple single quantitative parameters showed limited predictive ability to identify significant coronary artery stenosis. Visual assessment of DSE appears to be more accurate than single velocity and strain/strain rate markers in the diagnosis of CAD.

Coronary artery disease; Coronary stenosis; Dobutamine stress echocardiography; Myocardial deformation imaging; Strain/strain rate imaging; Doppler myocardial imaging; Tissue doppler imaging; Speckle tracking