Small, Short-Duration, Dobutamine-Induced Perfusion Defects Are Not Associated With Adverse Prognosis in Intermediate-Risk Individuals Receiving Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Stress Imaging

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The objective of this study was to assess the frequency and prognostic utility of small, short-duration left ventricular myocardial perfusion defects during dobutamine cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DCMR) stress imaging.


We performed first-pass contrast-enhanced DCMR at peak stress in 331 consecutively recruited individuals (aged 68 ± 8 years, 50% men) at intermediate risk for a future cardiac event. Size, location, and persistence of low–signal intensity perfusion defects were recorded. Cardiac events were assessed by personnel blinded to imaging results for a median of 24 months after the DCMR.


Among the 55 individuals (16.6%) who exhibited small (<25% myocardial thickness) and short-duration (<5 frames in persistence) perfusion defects, diabetes was more prevalent (P = 0.019) and no cardiac events were observed. Large, persistent perfusion defects were associated with coronary artery disease, prior myocardial infarction, and decreased left ventricular function (P < 0.001 for all) and increased 2-year risk for a cardiac event (hazard ratio, 10.3; P < 0.001; confidence interval, 3.3–33.0).


In individuals with diabetes, hypertension, or coronary artery disease at intermediate risk for a future cardiac event, small, short-duration DCMR perfusion defects are not associated with increased 2-year risk for a subsequent cardiac event.

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