PURPOSE: To assess the effects of short-acting nitrates on exercise stress test (EST) results and the relation between EST results and coronary blood flow (CBF) response to nitrates in patients with microvascular angina (MVA). METHODS: We completed 2 symptom/sign limited ESTs on 2 separate days, in a random sequence and in pharmacological washout, in 29 MVA patients and in 24 patients with obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD): one EST was performed without any intervention (control EST, C-EST), and the other after sublingual isosorbide dinitrate, 5 mg (nitrate EST, N-EST). CBF response to nitroglycerin (25 μg) was assessed in the left anterior descending coronary artery by transthoracic Doppler-echocardiography. RESULTS: At C-EST. ST-segment depression ≥1 mm (STD) was induced in 26 (90 %) and 23 (96 %) MVA and CAD patients, respectively (p = 0.42), whereas at N-EST, STD was induced in 25 (86 %) and 14 (56 %) MVA and CAD patients, respectively (p = 0.01). Time and rate pressure product at 1 mm STD increased during N-EST, compared to C-EST, in CAD patients (475 ± 115 vs. 365 ± 146 s, p < 0.001; and 23511 ± 4352 vs. 20583 ± 6234 bpm[Symbol: see text]mmHg, respectively, p = 0.01), but not in MVA patients (308 ± 160 vs. 284 ± 136 s; p = 0.19; and 21290 ± 5438 vs. 20818 ± 4286 bpm[Symbol: see text]mmHg, respectively, p = 0.35). In MVA patients, a significant correlation was found between heart rate at STD during N-EST and CBF response to nitroglycerin (r = 0.40, p = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Short-acting nitrates improve EST results in CAD, but not in MVA patients. In MVA patients a lower nitrate-dependent coronary microvascular dilation may contribute to the lack of effects of nitrates on EST results.
- Exercise stress test
- microvascular angina