Safety of Contrast Administration for Endocardial Enhancement During Stress Echocardiography Compared With Noncontrast Stress
Coronary Artery Disease
The aim was to evaluate the safety of stress echocardiography using contrast (CE) for endocardial enhancement compared with a noncontrast (NCE) cohort in a large nonselect population. The recent Food and Drug Administration warning cited lack of data for safety regarding the use of contrast in conjunction with stress echocardiography. A detailed record review was performed for 5,069 consecutive patients who underwent stress echocardiography (58% pharmacologic, 42% exercise) during an 8-year period. Contrast use, hemodynamics, and adverse clinical and electrocardiographic events were evaluated until time of discharge from the laboratory. Contrast was administered to 2,914 patients (58%) and was higher in in-patients (66%) and during dobutamine stress (67%). Compared with the NCE group, the CE group was older (median age 61 vs 58 years) and had more depressed left ventricular ejection fraction <50% (14% vs 11%; all p <0.001). The CE group experienced more chest pain (11% vs 8%; p = 0.001), back pain (0.6% vs 0.05%; p <0.001), and premature ventricular contractions (odds ratio 1.42, 95% confidence interval 1.19 to 1.69, p <0.001). There was no sustained ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrest, or death in either group. One uncomplicated acute myocardial infarction and 1 anaphylactoid reaction occurred in the CE group, and none occurred in the NCE group (p = 0.51). Rates of clinically significant arrhythmias were similar in both groups (CE 2.1% vs NCE 1.9%; p = 0.8). In conclusion, although CE of echocardiographic images was used more often in patients with a higher cardiac risk profile, the risk of major adverse events was very small in both the CE and NCE stress echocardiography cohorts.