The study, conducted at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, showed the drug poses fewer side effects than the conventional medication used during a cardiac nuclear stress test of heart transplant patients. Researchers said none of the 25 patients in the study experienced adverse side effects such as abnormally low blood pressure or slow heart beat.
Additionally, they said the patients showed no signs of heart block, a condition in which the signal from the heart's upper chamber is impaired or doesn't transmit.
Adenosine, the conventional drug used during a cardiac nuclear stress test, is known to cause lightheadedness, fainting and heart palpitations in patients, as well as high incidence of heart blocks.
"We believe regadenoson to be a safe and well tolerated medication for this specialized group of patients without causing any significant adverse heart issues," Dr. Karthik Ananth, the study's senior author, said.
The researchers said their study is the first to specifically examine the safety profile of regadenoson in heart transplant patients.
The findings were presented Sunday in Atlanta during the 59th annual American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions.