NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Real-time three-dimensional dobutamine stress echocardiography (RT3DE) is better than 2-dimensional echocardiography (2DE) in identifying wall motion abnormalities in patients with coronary artery disease, according to a report in the June issue of Heart.

Dr. Constadina Aggeli and colleagues from the University of Athens School of Medicine, Greece compared RT3DE and 2DE for detecting wall-motion abnormalities during a standard dobutamine stress protocol in 56 patients, using coronary angiography as the reference method.

RT3DE detected wall-motion abnormalities at peak stress in 37 patients, the authors report, whereas 2DE detected such abnormalities in 34 patients.

RT3DE and 2DE results were in agreement in 157 of the 168 coronary territories analyzed, the researchers note, and both techniques showed substantial agreement with the angiographic results (86% and 85%, respectively).

"The diagnostic parameters of 2DE versus RT3DE were: sensitivity 73% vs 78%, specificity 93% vs 89%, and overall accuracy 86% vs 85%, respectively," the team reports. RT3DE showed a tendency toward higher sensitivity than 2DE in identifying apical regional wall-motion abnormalities, the report indicates.

The findings "suggest that three-dimensional dobutamine stress echocardiography is at least equivalent to 2DE in detecting coronary artery disease," the investigators conclude. "Its true superiority, however, lies in the significantly shorter acquisition times; in our study, RT3DE acquisition times were less than half those of 2DE, comparable to those reported previously."

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