Objective: A previously developed pretest score was validated to stratify patients presenting for exercise testing with suspected coronary disease according to the presence of angiographic coronary disease. Our goal was to determine how well this pretest score risk stratified patients undergoing pharmacological and exercise stress tests concerning prognostic endpoints.
Design: Retrospective cohort analysis.
Setting: University hospital stress laboratory.
Patients: 7452 unselected ambulatory patients with symptoms of suspected coronary disease undergoing stress testing between 1995 and 2004.
Main outcomes measures: All-cause death, cardiac death and non-fatal myocardial infarction.
Results: The rate of all-cause death was 5.5% (CI 5.0 to 6.1) with 4.3 (SD 2.4) years of follow-up (Exercise 2.8% (CI 2.3 to 3.2) v Pharmacological group 11.9% (CI 10.5 to 13.3); p<0.001). The rate of cardiac death/myocardial infarction was 2.6% (CI 2.2 to 3.0) (Exercise 1.4% (CI 1.1 to 1.8) v Pharmacological group 5.3% (CI 4.3 to 6.2); p<0.001). In both groups, stratification by pretest score was significant for all-cause death and the combined endpoint. However, stratification was more effective in the pharmacological group using the combined endpoint rather than all-cause death. Pharmacological stress patients in intermediate and high risk groups were at higher risk than their respective exercise test cohorts. Referral for pharmacological stress testing was found to be an independent predictor of time to death (2.7 (CI 2.0 to 3.6); p<0.001).
Conclusion: A pretest score previously validated to stratify according to angiographic outcomes, effectively risk stratified pharmacological and exercise stress patients according to the combined endpoint of cardiac death/myocardial infarction.
- coronary disease
- pharmacological stress
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Competing interests: None declared.