Background: Patients with prior myocardial infarction (MI) are at increased risk of subsequent cardiac events (MI or cardiac death). The incremental prognostic value and warranty time of a normal stress echocardiogram in this high-risk population is not well defined. Methods: We evaluated 251 consecutive patients (62 ± 11 years; 64% males) with remote history of MI (>6 weeks) undergoing stress echocardiography (83% dobutamine). Ischemia was defined as a new reversible wall motion abnormality and/or biphasic response. Follow-up for up to 4 years (mean 2.9 ± 1.0 years) for confirmed MI (n = 7) and cardiac death (n = 15) were obtained. Results: Stress echocardiography effectively risk stratified patients into normal versus abnormal subgroups (Event rate 0.8% per year vs 4.2% per year; P = 0.01; RR = 5.6, 95% CI = 1.3-24.7). In patients with a normal stress echocardiogram, the event rate at the end of 6, 12, and 18 months were <1% per year. After 18 months the event rate in patients with a normal stress echocardiogram increased greatly (>1% per year). Stress echocardiography yields incremental prognostic value over clinical and stress electrocardiographic variables (Global chi-square increased from 12.4 to 25 to 31.1, P < 0.0001 both groups). Conclusions: Stress echocardiography yields appropriate risk stratification and prognosis and provides incremental prognostic value over clinical and stress electrocardiographic variables even in patients with prior MI. A normal stress echocardiogram portends a benign prognosis (<1% event rate/year) for up to 18 months.
- Incremental value
- Myocardial infarction
- Stress echocardiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine