Dobutamine stress echocardiography: Experience in pediatric heart transplant recipients

Elfriede Pahl, Susan E. Crawford, Jeanine M. Swenson, C. Elise Duffy, F. Jay Fricker, Carl L. Backer, Constantine Mavroudis, Farooq A. Chaudhry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background: Transplant coronary arteriopathy causes late death and is difficult to detect noninvasively. Dobutamine stress echocardiography is being used for risk stratification in adult recipients at some transplant centers, thus we investigated its role in a pediatric population. Methods: We performed 46 stress echo studies (mean age = 11.8 years; mean years post transplantation = 4.3). An atropine/dobutamine protocol (5-40 mcg/kg/min) was used to attain a predicted target heart rate. Serial echocardiographic images were acquired at baseline and at each increment of dobutamine and recovery, and were digitized online. Data were correlated with endomyocardial biopsy (n = 23), coronary angiography (n = 26) or autopsy (n = 6). All studies were well tolerated. Results: Target heartrate was achieved in 41/46 (89%) studies. The mean heartrate significantly increased from 95 to 169 beats/min and mean systolic blood pressure from 123 to 153 mmHg (p < .05). The mean peak pressure-rate product was 23,041 beats-mmHg/min. Corollary arteriopathy was confirmed in 5 patients by angiography (n = 3), explanted heart (n = l) or autopsy (n = 4). In this group, abnormalities included a new reversible wall motion abnormality (n = 2), left ventricular cavity dilation with stress (n = 3), ischemia (n = 2), increased mitral insufficiency (n = 1) and marked diastolic dysfunction (n = 1). A positive study predicted death or graft failure (p < .0005). Conclusions: Echocardiographic abnormalities during stress correlated with coronary arteriopathy in this small cohort of patients; however, larger multi-center studies are warranted to assess the utility of dobutamine stress echocardiography for risk stratification for coronary disease in pediatric transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-732
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation


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