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Medical News & Perspectives
May 14, 2008

New Stress Test Agents Reduce Adverse Effects

JAMA. 2008;299(18):2140. doi:10.1001/jama.299.18.2140

Chicago—A new class of pharmacological stress test agents promises fewer adverse effects when used to evaluate coronary artery disease.

Annually, nearly half of the estimated 8.5 million patients in the United States who need to undergo an exercise stress test cannot do so because of age or orthopedic issues.

Traditionally, pharmacological stress tests have used adenosine, an adenosine A2A receptor agonist that stimulates A2A receptors, causing coronary vasodilatation to increase myocardial blood flow. But adenosine also activates other receptor subtypes, which can result in flushing, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and atrioventricular block in up to 80% of patients.

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