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Safety of intravenous dipyridamole for stress testing with thallium imaging.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
The American Journal of Cardiology
0002-9149
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
59
Issue
1
Pages
152–154
Identifiers
PMID: 3812227
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Cardiac and noncardiac side effects were studied in 293 consecutive patients referred for nonexercise stress thallium imaging with intravenous dipyridamole. Six minutes after the initiation of infusion, there was a mean 9-beat/min increase in heart rate and a mean 12-mm Hg decrease in systolic blood pressure. The largest increase in heart rate exceeded 20 beats/min in only 13% of patients and the largest decrease in systolic blood pressure exceeded 20 mm Hg in 31%. Noncardiac side effects were headache (11%), lightheadedness or dizziness (5%) and nausea (4%). Only 9 patients required intravenous aminophylline for relief of noncardiac side effects: severe headache in 7 and nausea in 2. Cardiac side effects included chest pain in 76 patients (26%), of whom 70% were given aminophylline for relief of symptoms. Sixty patients (20%) had ischemic ST-segment depression and 56 (19%) had arrhythmias (ventricular in 50 and atrial in 6). There were no deaths, myocardial infarctions or sustained arrhythmias due to dipyridamole administration. Among 62 patients also undergoing cardiac catheterization, side effects except for arrhythmias were unrelated to the number of vessels with coronary artery disease. Intravenous dipyridamole is safe for nonexercise stress testing and has few serious side effects. However, the possibility of ischemia requires careful selection of patients and monitoring of vital signs and the electrocardiogram during the test.

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