Utility of Exercise Stress Testing in Pediatric Patients with T-Wave Inversions

Aditi Gupta, Neha Bansal, Leslie Saint Jour, Bradley C. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


T-wave inversions (TWI) in inferolateral electrocardiogram (ECG) leads (II, III, aVF, V5–V6) are often suggestive of cardiac pathology in adult patients. They are a common reason of additional testing in pediatric patients. The goal of the study is to determine correlation of exercise stress test T-wave response with diagnosis of cardiac pathology. This is a retrospective review of pediatric patients < 21 years with the finding of baseline TWI in inferior (II, III, avF) and/or lateral (V5–V6) leads on 12-lead ECG. All patients underwent treadmill exercise stress test (EST) and an echocardiogram within 1 year of each other. Demographics, baseline ECG findings, echocardiogram results, and EST data were recorded. T-wave reversion was considered complete if T waves demonstrated normalization during exercise, partial if there was minimal improvement, and no response if there was no change or worsening of inversions. In our cohort of 72 patients with a mean age 14.6 (± 2.9) years and 61% males, 59 (82%) had a structurally normal heart. Thirteen patients had evidence of structural or functional heart disease. Of the 59 patients, 83% had either complete or partial T-wave response. Among the 13 patients with heart disease, two patients had genetic testing consistent with risk for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and had complete and partial response on EST. Exercise stress testing for TWI in pediatric patients has low sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of cardiac disease and routine use in this patient population may not be indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-718
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Exercise stress test
  • Pediatrics
  • T-wave inversions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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