Diagnostic value of electrocardiogram stress testing in patients with metabolic syndrome

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Objectives:The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic value of exercise stress testing to detect coronary heart disease (CHD) in the group of patients with metabolic syndrome.

Design and methods: 2803 patients without prior diagnosis of CHD and identified metabolic syndrome were investigated. Subjects underwent electrocardiogram (ECG) stress testing and, depending on the results, coronary angiography and/or coronary computed tomography angiography to detect hemodynamically significant stenosis. CHD was confirmed, if lumen narrowing ≥ 50% of coronary arteries was found.

Results: Exercise stress testing was interpreted as positive in 12% patients (71.7% women and 28.3% men). CHD was diagnosed in 45 patients (1.6%), 23 of them had positive exercise stress testing. ECG stress testing was more frequently positive in patients, who had typical/atypical anginal chest pain, dyspnea and/or non-anginal chest pain, in comparison to asymptomatic patients (16.6% vs 8.9%, p <0.001). CHD was more often diagnosed in symptomatic patients compared to patients with no symptoms (6.1% vs 0.7%, p < 0.001, women 5.3% vs 0.6%, p < 0.001, men respectively 8% vs 0.8%, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Diagnostic value of exercise stress testing for detecting CHD is limited in population with metabolic syndrome. CHD was more prevalent in patients with chest pain or dyspnea than in asymptomatic patients.

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