[Usefulness, timing and modality of ECG stress testing after myocardial revascularization].

G Ital Cardiol (Rome). 2018 Dec;19(12):692-704

Authors: Massacesi C, Zimarino M, Angeramo F, Piedimonte G, Emdin M, Piepoli MF, De Caterina R

Abstract
Myocardial revascularization in patients with stable ischemic heart disease aims at eliminating myocardial ischemia, in order to (i) relieve anginal symptoms; (ii) improve functional capacity; and, possibly, (iii) improve prognosis. Given that ischemic recurrences are relatively common in patients undergoing myocardial revascularization, an appropriate follow-up is needed as part of a secondary prevention program. Stress testing can be here useful to: (i) detect residual or recurrent ischemia/angina; (ii) define functional capacity in order to establish physical aerobic training individualized programs; (iii) stratify prognosis. These goals can in large part be achieved by the ECG stress test, by far the cheapest, the easiest to perform and the most accessible test among those proposed so far, particularly compared with other imaging stress test modalities. There is, however, considerable discrepancy among scientific society recommendations on the use, timing and methods of ECG stress testing and of stress testing in general after revascularization. In addition to the diversity of recommendations, the use of stress tests in general is extremely variable in current clinical practice.This review aims therefore at revisiting principles, advantages and limitations of the ECG stress test and of stress tests in general in revascularized patients, highlighting recent developments of the ECG stress technique. This should also aim at issuing new recommendations to avoid the inappropriate prescription of expensive and more cumbersome techniques, to be reserved only to a second-tier diagnostic level and in a minority of cases.

PMID: 30520883 [PubMed – in process]

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