The effect of coronary artery bypass grafting on global left ventricular ejection fraction and regional contraction was studied in 56 consecutive patients with chronic stable angina pectoris by means of multiple gated ventricular scintigraphy at rest and during dynamic supine exercise before and six weeks after myocardial revascularisation. Before operation, exercise induced a significant fall in ejection fraction and regional wall motion score. Six weeks after operation 52 patients were symptomless. Resting ejection fraction and regional wall motion score were unchanged but during exercise ejection fraction increased significantly, and the previous exercise induced regional wall motion abnormalities were abolished. All four patients with persisting angina showed the same pattern as before operation, with a fall in left ventricular ejection fraction and regional wall motion score during exercise. Multiple gated ventricular scintigraphy affords a safe, objective, reproducible, and non-invasive means of assessing serial ventricular function at rest and during exercise in patients with ischaemic heart disease. The technique confirms that coronary bypass surgery abolishes exercise induced abnormalities of left ventricular function, but has no influence on resting function.
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