Exercise test linked to unnecessary heart operations
March 23, 2017
Twice as many patients than necessary are being operated on for aortic stenosis because of inaccurate exercise testing, suggest researchers at the University of Leicester, UK.
Gerry McCann and colleagues compared the abilities of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging (to measure myocardial perfusion reserve) and exercise testing to predict outcome in patients with asymptomatic aortic stenosis. They found that the exercise test, which has been approved by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology and the European Society of Cardiology, was only 60% accurate at predicting which patients would develop symptoms within a year.
The accuracy of CMR-measured myocardial perfusion reserve to predict outcome was not significantly better than exercise testing. We need more accurate ways of determining if operations are necessary, say the researchers.