EXERCISE TOLERANCE TEST: A COMPARISON BETWEEN TRUE POSITIVE AND FALSE POSITIVE TEST RESULTS

Authors

  • Abdul Wajid Khan Faisal
  • Abdul Rehman Abid
  • Muhammad Azhar

Abstract

Background: To study the factors which predetermine the coronary artery disease in patientshaving positive Exercise Tolerance Test (ETT) after comparing the ETT test results and coronaryangiographic findings in true positive and false positive groups. Methods: This Cross-sectionalstudy was conducted at Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Lahore from January 1, 2004 to December31, 2004. All patients who had ETT done for chest pain diagnosis were studied. Patients wereadvised coronary angiography if ETT was positive for exercise induced ischaemia. One hundredand forty eight patients had coronary angiography done after positive ETT. Patients were dividedinto two groups depending upon the angiographic findings, i.e., true positive and false positive.Both groups were compared with each other. Results: Out of 148 patients, 126 (85.1%) patientshad true positive ETT and 22 (14.9%) patients had false positive ETT. The mean age of patients intrue positive group was 48.969.08 years and 50.97.85 years in false positive group. Onehundred and eighteen (93.7%) male patients and 8 (6.3%) female patients had true positive ETT,whereas 14 (63.6%) males and 8 (36.4%) females had false positive ETT (p<0.0001). There wasno statistically significant difference in the two groups in comparison of age and otherconventional risk factors like diabetes mellitus, hypertension, smoking, family history anddyslipidemia. Abnormal resting ECG had a statistically significant difference between the groups(p<0.04), likewise is hypertensive haemodynamic response during ETT (p<0.003). The symptomlimited ETT as compared to no symptoms during ETT also conferred a statistically significantdifference between the groups (p<0.0001). Strongly positive ETT was also associated with truepositive ETT (p<0.002). Amongst the vessels involved the most common was the LAD 113(89.7%), followed by LCX 80 (63.5%) and the RCA 72 (57.1%). Most of the patients 51 (40.5%)had three vessel disease as compared to SVD 34 (27%). Conclusion: It can be concluded thatamongst the patients who have positive ETT, females with abnormal resting ECG, who achievetarget heart rate and have a hypertensive haemodynamic response with no symptoms are likely tohave a false positive test result. Conversely male patients with normal resting ECG who do notachieve target heart rate, have a normotensive haemodynamic response and a strongly positive,symptom limited ETT are likely to have a true positive treadmill test result.Keywords: Exercise tolerance test, Coronary artery disease, Coronary angiography, true positive,false positive.

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