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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Emory Researchers find that an Imaging Marker of Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction is Related to Ischemia with Mental Stress

In an analysis of myocardial perfusion imaging at rest and following both mental and physical stress testing, researchers from Emory University sought to determine if mental stress is associated with larger transient ischemic dilation of the left ventricle (TID)—a measure of coronary microvascular dysfunction resulting from stress—compared to physical stress, and whether this TID difference between the two stresses is greater in patients with mental stress-induced ischemia (MSI).

In the report titled, Coronary Microvascular Disease: A Potential Correlate of Ischemia with Mental Stress,” results were analyzed from myocardial perfusion imaging at rest and following both mental stress (speech task) and physical (exercise/ pharmacological) stress testing in 604 patients with coronary artery disease. Of these, 120 patients developed ischemia with mental stress, 162 developed ischemia with physical stress and 60 patients developed both mental and physical stress ischemia.

“We found that mental stress is associated with higher TID as compared to physical stress, particularly in subjects who are MSI positive,” explains Mr. Pratik M. Pimple, lead author of the study. “Our research suggests that a higher TID response to mental stress may be a marker for adverse coronary microvascular function in subjects with mental stress ischemia and might be one of the causes for future adverse cardiac events observed in these subjects.”

Complete results of the study will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society on March 20, in Savannah, Georgia.