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Korean Circ J. 2018 Oct;48(10):906-916. English. Original Article.
Song YJ , Ha SJ , Lee DS , Bang WD , Shin DG , Woo Y , Cheong S , Yoo SY .
Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Inje University Haeundae Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Gangneung Asan Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Gangneung, Korea.

Background and Objectives

Ergonovine stress echocardiography (ErgECHO) has been proposed as a noninvasive tool for the diagnosis of coronary vasospasm. However, concern over the safety of ErgECHO remains. This study was undertaken to investigate the safety and prognostic value of ErgECHO in a large population.


We studied 3,094 consecutive patients from a single-center registry who underwent ErgECHO from November 2002 to June 2009. Medical records, echocardiographic data, and laboratory findings obtained from follow-up periods were analyzed.


The overall positive rate of ErgECHO was 8.6%. No procedure-related mortality or myocardial infarction (MI) occurred. Nineteen patients (0.6%) had transient symptomatic complications during ErgECHO including one who was successfully resuscitated. Cumulative major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) occurred in 14.0% and 5.1% of the patients with positive and negative ErgECHO results, respectively (p < 0.001) at a median follow-up of 10.5 years. Cox regression survival analyses revealed that male sex, age, presence of diabetes, total cholesterol level of >220 mg/dL, and positive ErgECHO result itself were independent factors associated with MACEs.


ErgECHO can be performed safely by experienced physicians and its positive result may be an independent risk factor for long-term adverse outcomes. It may also be an alternative tool to invasive ergonovine-provoked coronary angiography for the diagnosis of vasospastic angina.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.