To determine the sensitivity and specificity of stress testing in geriatric patients and to estimate the tolerance of these patients to exercise.
A prospective study done in two populations with different ages.
Cardiologists and a stress testing laboratory.
Persons with ages above and under 65 years who were admitted in our center and submitted to stress testing and coronary angiography for suspicion of ischemic heart disease.
All stress tests were performed on a Siemens Elama cicloergometer model 380-B adapted to a Hewlett Packard 1517 A ECG recorder. Our protocol started with an initial work load of 30 Watts with increments of other 30 Watts every three minutes. A 12 lead ECG was registered at rest, at maximum effort and in the recovery phase (approx. eight minutes after maximum effort). Three leads ECG's (V2, aVF, V5) were registered every three minutes.
Stress finishing criteria were: symptom's limited, fatigue and maximum heart rate (220-age). Blood pressure was also controlled every three minutes during exercise and every two minutes during the recovery phase. Coronary angiographies were performed on a Siemens Cardoskop U (cine) using the Judkins technique. Left anterior oblique, right anterior oblique and postero anterior projections were used in all the procedures.
Stress testing presents high sensitivity and low specificity in geriatric patients. A good tolerance to exercise was observed in this group of patients.
A similar sensitivity was observed in the stress tests performed by patients with ages above and under 65 years. Sensitivity seems to be related to the severity of the coronary lesion. On the other hand stress testing presented a lower specificity in the geriatric patient. Finally, good tolerance to exercise was observed in patients older than 65 years.
CITATION Rev Port Cardiol. 1990 Oct;9(10):819-22
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