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The WOMEN Study: What is the Optimal Method for Ischemia Evaluation in WomeN?

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00282711
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 27, 2006
Last Update Posted : August 1, 2012
GE Healthcare
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Hartford Hospital

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to compare two types of exercise stress testing to find the best method for detecting heart disease in women.

Condition or disease
Coronary Artery Disease Heart Disease Coronary Arteriosclerosis Cardiovascular Disease Myocardial Ischemia

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Detailed Description:

Coronary artery disease remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in women accounting for more than 250,000 deaths per year. While mortality rates have decreased significantly in men during the last several decades, there has been little change for women. Furthermore, despite the high prevalence of ischemic heart disease (IHD) in women, most clinical trials have focused on male cohorts, resulting in a lack of data for women. Their exclusion from clinical trials has been primarily due to the following: 1) child- bearing potential, 2) beyond the arbitrary age limits established for trials, 3) frequent concomitant or advanced disease, and 4) inhomogeneity within the study population.

Extrapolation of the published clinical trial data (predominately obtained in men) for women is controversial due to differences in epidemiology of heart disease in women. Treatment is often sought later in life and is usually accompanied by more advanced disease and co-morbidities, which therefore, impact survival. In addition, women more frequently have an absence of clinical symptoms or an atypical presentation, making the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD) challenging. Furthermore, women may also have their first manifestation of CAD as sudden death or acute myocardial infarction. Therefore, there is a clear need for the early identification of IHD in women so that treatments may be employed prior to having an advanced state of disease and higher risk for unfavorable outcomes.

The optimal non-invasive test for evaluation of IHD in women is unknown. A number of different modalities have been employed including exercise ECG stress testing, 2-dimensional stress echocardiography, single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) myocardial perfusion imaging, and electron beam tomography. Additionally, the cohort of women for whom testing is performed is also ill defined.

The most recent AHA/ACC guidelines suggest that ECG stress testing should be the preferred approach. Supportive data for this recommendation are controversial, as many of the studies examining the diagnostic value of ECG stress testing were largely performed in small cohorts of women and are dated. These trials indicate that the diagnostic accuracy of stress testing is only fair (sensitivity=32-89%; specificity=41-68%). A recent meta-analysis in 3,874 women demonstrated modest sensitivity and specificity, 62% and 69% respectively, even after adjustment for referral bias (8). Published guidelines have also included a meta-analysis and confirmed a low level (sensitivity=33%) of detection of disease. Additionally, the high rate of false positives, as well as the inability to fully ascertain the extent of disease, therefore limits the potential value of ECG stress testing.

Even though exercise stress testing is supported by recent clinical guidelines, the addition of SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging has independent and incremental diagnostic and prognostic value. Improved diagnostic accuracy has also been noted with perfusion imaging and its ability to predict cardiac events in women is well established. Furthermore, recent data supports the cost-effectiveness of strategies that employ myocardial perfusion imaging in the assessment of women at risk for ICD.

The current AHA/ACC recommendations fail to take into account that women often have limited ability to complete maximal exercise, a problem that is likely due to their older age and more frequent co-morbidities as compared with men. This functional impairment may lead to a lack of ischemia provocation and/or indeterminate exercise testing results. Maximal predicted heart rate, oxygen consumption, and, more commonly, metabolic equivalents (METs) are measures to estimate physical work capacity. The Duke Activity Status Index (DASI) is a simple 12-item questionnaire that estimates peak oxygen consumption. The Duke Activity Status Index (DASI) questionnaire may identify patients who are likely to perform inadequate exercise, which amounts to nearly 40% of all women referred for exercise testing.

The optimal strategy for the evaluation of women with suspected ischemic heart disease is unknown and quite controversial. Several algorithms have been suggested for the evaluation of women with suspected CAD. A recent consensus paper from the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology suggested a strategy that employed perfusion imaging, but provided little evidence to support such a clinical strategy, such as with a prospective clinical trial. The focus of this investigation is to compare different strategies for the assessment of women at intermediate or high clinical risk for IHD and to do so on a prospective, randomized basis. This study is therefore focused on providing a high level of clinical evidence on which to base future recommendations and guidelines for the care of women with heart disease.

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Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 824 participants
Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: The WOMEN Study: What is the Optimal Method for Ischemia Evaluation in WomeN?"A Multi-Center, Prospective, Randomized Study to Establish the Optimal Method for Detection of CAD Risk in Women at an Intermediate-High Pre-Test Likelihood CAD"
Study Start Date : June 2004
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2008
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2010

Standard Exercise treadmill test
Exercise treadmill testing with nuclear imaging

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. To compare 2-year event rates for women capable of performing exercise treadmill testing with normal myocardial perfusion SPECT using Tc-99m tetrofosmin as compared with a negative stress ECG. [ Time Frame: 2 years ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. To evaluate the differential prognostic accuracy of normal exercise myocardial perfusion Tc-99m tetrofosmin SPECT against a normal exercise ECG. [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
  2. To compare the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of exercise ECG versus exercise ECG-gated Tc-99m tetrofosmin SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging in women who undergo an elective cardiac catheterization. [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
  3. Utility of the DASI questionnaire in determining which women are able to achieve predicted maximal heart rate response with treadmill testing [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
  4. Non-fatal myocardial infarction [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
  5. Unstable angina leading to revascularization [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
  6. Unstable angina with objective evidence of ischemia requiring hospitalization [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
  7. Cardiac death [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
  8. Hospitalization for heart failure [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
  9. Revascularization [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
  10. To provide objective information for developing guidelines for the evaluation of women at intermediate-high likelihood for CAD. [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
  11. A cost-effectiveness analysis will be performed comparing the various evaluation strategies. [ Time Frame: 2 years ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   60 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population
Females age 60 and above with suspected heart disease

Inclusion Criteria:

- Women 60 years of age and older presenting for the evaluation of chest pain, or other anginal equivalent symptoms while at an intermediate-high pretest risk for IHD

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Women with known CAD
  • Women scoring <5 METs on the DASI
  • Nursing or pregnant females
  • Nuclear medicine study within the preceding 10 days
  • Electrocardiographic abnormalities precluding interpretation of peak stress changes including: Left bundle branch block, electronic ventricular pacemaker, left ventricular hypertrophy, WPW, and resting ST-T wave changes. Additionally, patients currently on digoxin therapy
  • Significant valvular heart disease (i.e. severe aortic stenosis or regurgitation, or severe mitral insufficiency)
  • Hemodynamic instability (blood pressure >210/110 ml/Hg or <90/60 mm/Hg)
  • Left ventricular systolic dysfunction with a left ventricular ejection fraction less than 30 %
  • Unavailability for long-term follow-up

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00282711

  Show 43 Study Locations
Sponsors and Collaborators
Hartford Hospital
GE Healthcare
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Principal Investigator: Gary V. Heller, M.D., Ph.D. Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT
Principal Investigator: Robert C. Hendel, M.D. Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
Principal Investigator: Jennifer H. Mieres, M.D. North SHore University Hospital, Long Island, NY
Principal Investigator: Leslie J. Shaw, Ph.D. Atlanta Cardiovascular Research Institute, Atlanta, GA


Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Hartford Hospital Identifier: NCT00282711     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: HELL001524HE
The WOMEN study
First Posted: January 27, 2006    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 1, 2012
Last Verified: July 2012
Keywords provided by Hartford Hospital:
Diagnostic Techniques, Radioisotope
Radionuclide Imaging
Diagnostic Techniques, Cardiovascular
Heart Function tests
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Coronary Artery Disease
Myocardial Ischemia
Heart Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Coronary Disease
Arterial Occlusive Diseases
Vascular Diseases
Pathologic Processes