Stress-echocardiography can rightly be considered one of the champions of cardiac functional imaging, thanks to its real-time imaging, high temporal resolution, high safety and very low cost. When stress-echocardiography is performed at top technical quality, hence taking advantage of ultrasound contrast media for endocardial border delineation at least for suboptimal cases, subjectivity is minimized, and with the routine use of coronary flow reserve measurement (left anterior descending coronary artery, stress/rest ratio reduced or normal, i.e. <>2.0) diagnostic sensitivity is strengthened. The true competitor of any type of functional imaging, stress-echocardiography included, is nowadays coronary computed tomography angiography, which is instead a diagnostic method directly, noninvasively assessing coronary anatomy, apparently the holy grail for any cardiologist. The new 2019 Guidelines on chronic coronary syndrome of the European Society of Cardiology change the existing landscape and clinical practice, while they probably cannot clarify which type of test, functional or anatomic, should be first chosen in different clinical scenarios of suspected chronic coronary syndrome. We review the existing data and the authors' personal view in order to assess how functional stress-echocardiography compares with coronary computed tomography angiography regarding three main aspects: diagnosis of coronary artery disease, guidance of therapy (coronary revascularization versus medical therapy) and risk stratification.
Stress-echocardiography or coronary computed tomography in suspected chronic coronary syndrome after the 2019 European Guidelines? A practical guide. Gaibazzi N, Tuttolomondo D, Guaricci AI, De Marco F, Pontone G. J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown). 2021 Aug 6. doi: 10.2459/JCM.0000000000001235