Profiles of radionuclide left ventricular ejection fraction changes induced by supine bicycle exercise in normals and patients with coronary heart disease

Matthias E. Pfisterer, Robert A. Slutsky, Gerhard Schuler, Donald R. Ricci, Sue S. Swanson, Donald G. Gordon, Alexander Battler, Victor F. Froelicher, Kirk E. Peterson, William L. Ashburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the profiles of left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) during and following supine bicycle exercise in normal subjects and in patients with coronary heart disease, as well as the relationship of the described patterns to clinical parameters. Twenty normal men and 40 patients with coronary artery disease were studied using gated equilibrium radionuclide angiography (EQ‐EF). In the normals, during exercise, EF increased by a mean of 25% of the resting value, with an increase of no less than 11%. The exercise‐limiting symptom in patients with coronary artery disease was angina pectoris in 20 and fatigue in the other 20 patients. In the angina patients, there was a mean decrease in EF of 20%, and in the other coronary artery disease patients ejection fraction changed little. Only two patients with coronary artery disease increased ejection fraction from a normal resting value to peak exercise by more than 11%, and they had isolated right coronary lesions. An “overshoot” elevation of ejection fraction above resting levels was demonstrated following termination of exercise in most patients. The patients with a significant fall in exercise ejection fraction more frequently had abnormal exercise‐induced ECG changes as well as abnormal left ventriculograms and more severe coronary artery disease at cardiac catheterization than the patients with little change in ejection fraction. We conclude that 1) normals could be separated from most patients with significant coronary artery disease in this study population; 2) ejection fraction must be measured at maximal exercise for it to have diagnostic value, since there could be a normal rise before and after peak exercise and an abnormal response missed; and 3) the ejection fraction response to exercise reflects the severity of the underlying coronary artery disease. The described patterns of exerciseinduced changes in left ventricular ejection fraction are important to consider when using this new technique to diagnose and evaluate patients with coronary artery disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-317
Number of pages13
JournalCatheterization and Cardiovascular Diagnosis
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes


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