- Dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) is an accurate noninvasive test used for the diagnosis and evaluation of patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). The aim of this study was to determine the rate of positive findings in DSE, to define the echocardiographic and clinical characteristics of women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to evaluate the safety of DSE in SLE patients. Thirty consecutive SLE patients were enrolled in the study and underwent DSE study. The mean age of patients was 44 years (range 20-76). Mean duration of SLE was 8.1 years and mean SLEDAI was 5.5. None of the DSE tests performed were positive for myocardial ischaemia. A left ventricular outflow gradient (LVOG) was found in 15/28 (54%) patients who completed the test, a result higher than the reported 20% prevalence of this finding in the literature. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between patients who developed a gradient and patients in whom a gradient was not found. There were no significant adverse effects during the study. In the general population, LVOG has been reported to be associated with an increased rate of chest discomfort and with a significantly lower prevalence of CAD. Whether this is true for SLE patients requires further study.