Is there a risk to having a Dobutamine stress test

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Submitted by Dr T on June 15, 2011 – 6:48am

Hi Dr T
I have hypertension controlled by Diovan and Hctz.  I am also VERY sensitive to epinepherine…causes severe tachycardia.  Should I be concerned about taking a Dobutamine stress test? Thanks for your answer.

Exercise stress testing is the most widely used method to test a patient for coronary artery disease (CAD). For patients, unable to exercise as a result of conditions like degenerative joint disease, physical deconditioning, neurologic disorders, chronic obstructive airway disease, or peripheral vascular
disease, pharmacologic stress testing is an alternative with drugs like Persantine, Adenosine and Dobutamine.

The result of an ECHO study during treadmill exercise and dobutamine stress testing

The action of Dobutamine is very different from Epinephrine, and thus unlikely to produce unwanted side effects. Since there are many alternatives, you should discuss your worries with your doctor. An exercise test would avoid your concern, which I’d recommend unless your physical condition precludes walking or pedaling.

You can read more about stress testing here:
You might also be interested in reading more about cholesterol, hypertension, CAD in women and “heart” risks:

Hope this helps,

(Image from: Real-time perfusion echocardiography during treadmill exercise and dobutamine stress testing
S Dodla, et al. Heart 2010;96:220-225)

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