Routine stress testing after percutaneous coronary interventions

A. Patel, A. H. Waller, A. Rusovici, S. Dhruvakumar, J. Maher, C. Gerula, B. Haider, M. Klapholz, E. Kaluski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is the most frequently performed cardiovascular procedure. Many physicians caring for post-PCI patients have routinely subjected patients to periodic stress testing. In the recent years, due to widespread use of drug eluting stents the combined rates of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) and in-stent restenosis (ISR) dropped <10% in the initial 12 months post-PCI, with only half of these patients bearing symptoms. This has translated into reduced pre-test probability of post-PCI ischemia. Consequently, the beneficial effect of this practice came into question. Moreover, in addition to its financial implications, routine post-PCI stress testing may carry potential harm: medication or exercise induced arrhythmia, infarction and/or death, patient irradiation exposure, false-positive tests resulting in excessive invasive testing or interventions, and the illusion of "wellness" in the face of a somewhat unpredictable disease. This review addresses the role stress testing post-PCI: it is concluded that routine stress testing in clinically stable asymptomatic post-PCI patients should be discouraged. Selective utilization of stress testing in patients with exceptionally high risk of ISR or MACE can be utilized to answer important clinical questions or guide and refine clinical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-330
Number of pages10
JournalMinerva Cardioangiologica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


  • Cardiovascular surgical procedures
  • Drug-eluting stents
  • Echocardiography, stress


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