Strategy of diagnostic imaging before and after PTCA

S. Pirelli, G. B. Danzi, D. Massa, G. Piccalo, F. Faletra, L. Campolo, C. De Vita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is now widely accepted that percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is an effective nonsurgical technique for achieving coronary revascularization. Exercise electrocardiography remains the standard procedure for functional evaluation before, early, and late after angioplasty because of its availability, safety, and limited cost. The drawback of exercise testing is its low specificity and the fact that the attainment of diagnostically useful data requires a level of exercise that substantially increases myocardial oxygen demand. Exercise thallium imaging has been shown to be highly predictive of restenosis and adverse events after angioplasty, but it is possible that myocardial perfusion may not return to normal immediately after successful revascularization. Stress echocardiography has many practical advantages over scanning tests, as result of its lower cost, shorter imaging time, and the absence of radiation exposure. Dipyridamole echocardiography testing (DET) is an exercise-independent method of evaluating patients who have to undergo coronary angioplasty. Before PTCA, DET allows the clinician to localize the site and extent of myocardial ischemia anatomically. Early after a successful procedure, DET identifies a group at high risk for the late recurrence of symptoms. Late after PTCA, DET is more accurate than exercise electrocardiography in detecting restenosis or disease progression. In asymptomatic patients with exercise-induced ST depression, DET has the same good diagnostic accuracy as thallium scintigraphy. For these reasons, as well as because of its noninvasive nature and availability, DET should be considered an attractive option for the evaluation of patients after anatomically successful angioplasty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-309
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
  • restenosis
  • stress testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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