(HealthDay News) – The occurrence of coronary artery spasm (CAS) during dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) is rare, with a prevalence of 0.4%, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Nicolas Mansencal, MD, PhD, of the Public-Hospital of Paris in Boulogne, France, and colleagues conducted a prospective review of 2,179 patients over age 18 who underwent DSE from November 2001–October 2010 to assess the prevalence of coronary artery spasm (CAS) during DSE.

The researchers found ST-segment elevation in 21 patients, all of whom underwent emergency coronary angiography. Significant coronary stenosis was seen in 13 of these patients – seven with chronic coronary occlusion and six with critical coronary stenosis. No significant coronary stenosis was seen in the remaining eight patients, seven of whom were men, with a mean age of 67 years. There was a 0.4% prevalence of CAS during DSE.

“In our experience the prevalence of coronary artery spasm during DSE is 0.4%. Interestingly, coronary artery spasm may be considered a side effect of dobutamine or could unmask real vasospastic angina,” the authors write.

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