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January 18, 1980

Exercise Tests After Myocardial Infarction

JAMA. 1980;243(3):261. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300290043023

Early ambulation after myocardial infarction is no longer news. We have taken in our stride the speed with which patients traverse the trajectory of intensive coronary care unit—ward— home.1

It may take longer to adjust to early exercise testing after myocardial infarction, even though this practice is not altogether new2 and its safety has been demonstrated by a number of observers.3,4 Until recently the main purpose in such testing has been to assess the working capacity during the convalescent phase, as indicated by untoward symptoms, ST-T wave changes, and arrhythmias.

Dillahunt and Miller5 have designed a study of early exercise testing with a more ambitious aim of predicting the extent of coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunctions. They accomplished this by correlating the results of a treadmill test soon after the onset of myocardial infarction, with angiographic and hemodynamic data obtained at a later date.