The Safety of Treadmill Exercise Stress Testing in Patients with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

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Abstract

Background

Exercise stress testing in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms may cause enlargement or rupture of aneurysms.

Objective

To evaluate the safety of treadmill exercise stress testing in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Design

Retrospective descriptive study.

Setting

Tertiary care center.

Patients

262 patients who had abdominal aortic aneurysms more than 4 cm in diameter and underwent treadmill exercise stress testing.

Measurements

Pain after stress testing, rupture of the aneurysm or death, aneurysm size, and exercise stress test results.

Results

The average aneurysm diameter was 5.5 +/- 1.1 cm. One patient with a 6.1-cm aneurysm was found to have a contained rupture 12 hours after stress testing. The event rate for aneurysm rupture was 0.4% (95% CI, 0.0% to 2.1%). No deaths or other negative outcomes were documented.

Conclusion

Despite theoretical concerns, exercise stress testing of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms seems to be safe and is associated with a low incidence of acute adverse events.

Conclusion

This paper is also available at http//www.acponline.org.

Ann Intern Med.1998;129:628-631.

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