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Heart Medications Can Affect Heart Imaging

Medications reduce or eliminate ischemia

TUESDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Heart medications can modify the results of stress myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) by reducing or eliminating ischemia, according to a review in the Aug. 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Gilbert J. Zoghbi, M.D., and colleagues from the University of Alabama at Birmingham reviewed published experimental and clinical data on the effects of anti-anginal and lipid-lowering medications on the results of stress MPI.

The researchers note that regardless of medication issues, there are many technical issues involving reading and interpreting MPIs. Nitrates decrease the size and severity of defects in exercise-induced myocardial perfusion. Beta-blockers improve the perfusion pattern of exercise and dobutamine MPI and give inconsistent results for vasodilator MPI. Calcium-channel blockers appear to improve myocardial perfusion in patients with coronary artery disease. Lipid-lowering agents such as statins improve the perfusion pattern of exercise and vasodilator MPI, according to the review.

"The cumulative data show that nitrates, first-generation CCBs (calcium-channel blockers), BBs (beta-blockers), and especially statins modify results of stress MPI (especially exercise) by decreasing the extent and severity of reversible ischemia or even by eliminating ischemia completely in some patients," Zoghbi and colleagues conclude.

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