WHAT’S THE BEST STRESS TEST?

From the 2010 World Congress of Cardiology:


ECG Patterns During Sexual Intercourse in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease

Vadim Kuznetsov, Victor Todosiychuk, Sergei Velizhanin, Tyumen Cardiology Center (Tyumen, Russian Federation)

Introduction: Assessment of the influence of sexual activity on cardiovascular system in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) still remains controversial. The purpose of our investigation was to assess the ECG patterns during sexual intercourse (SI) in patients with CAD. 

Methods: 12 male volunteers (age 55.3_8.8 years) with stable CAD (stable angina class II/III according to the Canadian Cardiovascular Society) underwent 24-hour ECG monitoring. The patients recorded the time of the start and finish of SI. We compared the ECG patterns during SI and daily physical exercise (PE). 

Results: The peak of heart rate was significantly higher during SI compared with PE (147.7_15.2 vs 132.3_7.3 beats/min, p_0.002). 8 patients showed ST segment depression both in SI and PE. The level of ST depression was higher in SI (1.5_0.2 vs 1.1_0.1 mm, p_0.001). Combination of angina pectoris and ST depression was recorded only in 2 patients during SI compared with 4 patients during PE. 2 patients had episodes of atrial fibrillation, 1 had ventricular bigeminy and frequent ventricular premature beats during SI.

Conclusion: In patients with CAD SI was associated with heart rhythm disorders and silent transient myocardial ischemia probably more severe in comparison with ischemia during daily PE.

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