Home > Journals > Minerva Cardiology and Angiology > Past Issues > Minerva Cardioangiologica 2020 June;68(3) > Minerva Cardioangiologica 2020 June;68(3):249-57



Publishing options
To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian


Publication history
Cite this article as



Minerva Cardioangiologica 2020 June;68(3):249-57

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4725.20.05093-8


language: English

Heart rate reserve during dipyridamole stress test applied to potential heart donors in brain death

Tonino BOMBARDINI 1 , Davide PACINI 2, Luciano POTENA 2, Massimo MACCHERINI 3, Tamara KOVACEVIC-PRERADOVIC 1, Eugenio PICANO 4

1 Clinical Center of the Republic of Srpska, Faculty of Medicine, University of Banja-Luka, Banja-Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina; 2 Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery, S. Orsola-Malpighi Polyclinic Hospital, Bologna University, Bologna, Italy; 3 Heart Transplant Surgery Unit, Senese Academic Hospital, Siena, Italy; 4 Department of Biomedicine, Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council, Pisa, Italy

BACKGROUND: A blunted heart rate reserve (HRR) during dipyridamole stress echocardiography (DSE) is a prognostically unfavorable sign of cardiac autonomic dysfunction. Short-term adjustments of heart rate (HR) are thought to rise from changes in neural input to the heart. DSE is applied in potential heart donors to rule out underlying coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction. The aim of this study is to assess HRR during DSE in brain death.
METHODS: We enrolled two groups: group 1 (N.=49, 22 men, 54.6±8.8 years) with patients in brain death enrolled in the nationwide marginal donor heart recruiting program; group 2 (N.=49, 18 men, 66.4±12.0 years) referred to DSE for suspected or known coronary artery disease. All underwent DSE (0.84 mg/kg in 6’) by quality-controlled readers certified via web-based training (1487/CE Lazio-1). We assessed left ventricular contractile reserve (LVCR) as stress/rest ratio of force (systolic blood pressure/end-systolic volume). HRR was calculated as the peak/rest HR ratio from 12-lead EKG.
RESULTS: The two study groups were similar for prevalence of inducible ischemia (4/49 vs. 9/49, P=NS). Group 1 showed higher resting HR (group 1: 88.1±15.5 bpm vs. group 2: 66.5±11.5 bpm, P<0.01) and similar peak HR (group 1: 94.7±15.3 bpm vs. group 2: 89.5±19.3 bpm, P=0.144), with blunted HRR (group 1: 1.08±0.10 bpm vs. group 2: 1.36±0.31 bpm, P<0.01). HRR was unrelated to LVCR.
CONCLUSIONS: HRR is almost abolished and unrelated to LVCR in brain-dead patients during DSE. The modulation of neural input to the heart is essential to determine HRR, and plays no significant role in determining the inotropic response during DSE.

KEY WORDS: Heart rate; Tissue donors; Stress echocardiography

top of page