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We investigated the prognostic significance of new-onset angina in patients in whom coronary anatomic characteristics were known. New onset angina was defined as angina of less than 3 months duration. Consecutive patients (n = 1727) with significant coronary artery disease (diagnosed at cardiac catheterization) and who had not had a prior myocardial infarction or congestive heart failure were studied. In patients with new-onset angina (n = 329) there was a higher incidence of single-vessel disease (43% vs 27%) and a lower incidence of triple-vessel (23% vs 35%) and left main artery (5% vs 10%) disease compared with patients with chronic angina (n = 1398). Patients were classified by the presence or absence of preinfarction angina (severe and prolonged angina at rest requiring hospitalization to rule out myocardial infarction). In patients treated without surgery and who did not have preinfarction angina, survival at 1 year was 97% for patients with new-onset angina and 98% for those with chronic angina (p = .27). Among patients not treated surgically who did not have preinfarction angina, at 1 year 16% with new-onset angina and 7% with chronic angina had suffered a cardiac event (nonfatal myocardial infarction or death, p = .006). In patients treated surgically who did not have preinfarction angina, survival at 1 year was 96% both for those with new-onset angina and those with chronic angina (p = .99). The risk of an event in patients treated surgically at 1 year was not statistically different in patients with new-onset angina and those with chronic angina (12% vs 11%, p = .27). Survival and event-free rates were lower in patients with preinfarction angina than in patients who did not have it.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The prognostic importance of ventricular arrhythmias detected during 24 hour ambulatory monitoring was evaluated in 395 patients with and 260 patients without significant coronary artery disease. Ventricular arrhythmias were found to be strongly related to abnormal left ventricular function. A modification of the Lown grading system (ventricular arrhythmia score) was the most useful scheme for classifying ventricular arrhythmias according to prognostic importance. When only noninvasive characteristics were considered, the score contributed independent prognostic information, and the complexity of ventricular arrhythmias as measured by this score was inversely related to survival. However, when invasive measurements were included, the ventricular arrhythmia score did not contribute independent prognostic information. Furthermore, ejection fraction was more useful than the ventricular arrhythmia score in identifying patients at high risk of sudden death.
Five out of twenty patients with vasotonic angina had frequent spontaneous attacks with dramatic ST-segment alterations. These attacks were consistently associated with an increase in platelet aggregates in coronary-sinus blood but not arterial blood. This increase in platelet aggregates during coronary-artery spasm suggests a potential causal role for the platelet in this subset of patients with ischaemic heart-disease. However, the increase in platelet aggregates could be secondary to reduced coronary blood-flow.
To determine the prognostic value of the treadmill exercise test, we evaluated 2842 consecutive patients with chest pain who had both treadmill testing cardiac catheterization. The population was randomly divided into two equal-sized groups and the Cox regression model was used in one to form a treadmill score that was then validated in the other group. The final treadmill score was calculated as follows: exercise time--(5 X ST deviation)--(4 X treadmill angina index). Using this treadmill score, 13% of the patients were found to be at high risk; 53%, at moderate risk; and 34%, at low risk. The treadmill score added independent prognostic information to that provided by clinical data, coronary anatomy, and left ventricular ejection fraction: patients with three-vessel disease with a score of -11 or less had a 5-year survival rate of 67%, and those with a score of +7 or more had a 5-year survival rate of 93%. The treadmill score was useful for stratifying prognosis in patients with suspected coronary artery disease who were referred to us for catheterization, and may provide a useful adjunct to clinical decision making in the larger population of patients being evaluated for chest pain.
To examine the value of clinical measures of ischemia for stratifying prognosis, 5,886 consecutive patients who had symptomatic significant (greater than or equal to 75% stenosis) coronary artery disease were studied. Using the Cox regression model in a randomly selected half of the patients, the prognostically independent clinical variables were weighted and arranged into a simple angina score: angina score = angina course X (1 + daily angina frequency) + ST-T changes, where angina course was equal to 3 if unstable or variant angina was present, 2 if the patient's angina was progressive with nocturnal episodes, 1 if it was progressive without nocturnal symptoms and 0 if it was stable; 6 points were added for the presence of "ischemic" ST-T changes. This angina score was then validated in an independent patient sample. The score was a more powerful predictor of prognosis than was any individual anginal descriptor. Furthermore, the angina score added significant independent prognostic information to the patient's age, sex, coronary anatomy and left ventricular function. Patients with three vessel disease and a normal ventricle (n = 1,233) had a 2 year infarction-free survival rate of 90% with an angina score of 0 and a 68% survival rate with an angina score greater than or equal to 9. With an ejection fraction less than 50% and three vessel disease (n = 1,116), the corresponding infarction-free survival figures were 76 and 56%.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Clinical decisions are most secure when based on findings from several large randomized clinical trials, but relevant randomized trial data are often unavailable. Analyses using clinical data bases might provide useful information if statistical methods can adequately correct for the lack of randomization. To test this approach, the findings of the three major randomized trials of coronary bypass surgery were compared with predictions of multivariable statistical models derived from observations in the Duke Cardiovascular Disease Databank. Clinical characteristics of patients at Duke University Medical Center who met eligibility requirements for each major randomized trial were used in the models to predict 5 year survival rates expected for medical and surgical therapy in each randomized trial. Model predictions agreed well with randomized trial results and were within the 95% confidence limits of the observed survival rates in 24 (92%) of 26 clinical subgroups. The overall correlation between predicted and observed survival rates was good (Spearman coefficient 0.73, p less than 0.0001). These results suggest that carefully performed analyses of observational data can complement the results of randomized trials.
Controversy still exists about the proper selection of patients with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction for coronary bypass surgery. To examine this issue, we studied 710 patients with significant coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction less than or equal to 40%). Of 301 patients treated surgically, 232 had bypass grafts; 17, left ventricular surgery; and 52, both procedures. At 3 years after treatment, unadjusted survival was 84% for surgical patients and 64% for medical patients. At baseline, medical patients had more left ventricular dysfunction than surgical patients, but surgical patients had more coronary artery disease and angina than medical patients. In Cox survival models, two invasive factors (ejection fraction and extent of coronary artery disease) and three noninvasive indexes (assessment of myocardial infarction, angina, and conduction disturbances) were the five best predictors of survival (p less than 0.001). After adjustment for these factors between the two treatment groups, overall surgical survival at 3 years after treatment was 86%, and medical survival was 68%. Long-term surgical survival benefits appeared greatest in patients with the most severe left ventricular dysfunction, most extensive coronary artery disease, and most severe anginal symptoms. We conclude that surgery provides significant survival benefits for coronary disease patients with left ventricular dysfunction; in general, the sicker the patient, the greater the benefit.
Presently available Doppler technology has allowed us to substantially increase our understanding of the regulation of the coronary circulation in humans. New technologic developments in this area promise to further enhance our understanding of the operational characteristics of the coronary circulation in patients in normal and pathologic states.
Although immediate and late changes in coronary stenoses after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) have been reported, most investigators have employed qualitative or semiquantitative techniques to analyze the angiograms. Such data is not optimal because of considerable interobserver variability and the use of relative instead of absolute changes in lesion geometry. Analysis is further compounded by the indistinct edges that characterize coronary lesions immediately after angioplasty. To quantify the changes in minimal cross-sectional area (MCSA) of the coronary lumen that occur during and after PTCA, we analyzed the angiograms of 23 patients before PTCA, immediately after PTCA, and at 7.2 +/- 3.0 (mean +/- SD) months follow-up using two computer-assisted methods of angiographic analysis--quantitative coronary angiography (QCA) and videodensitometry (VID). QCA provides an absolute measure of the area of the lumen; VID is a nongeometric method that is not dependent on exact border recognition. Based on these quantitative methods, we found that successful angioplasty is associated with about a three-fold increase in the MCSA of the lesion (from 1.0 to 3.2 mm2). This area is, however, well below normal and is less than half of the average MCSA of the inflated dilating balloon. Analysis of follow-up angiograms demonstrated that eight of 23 patients had a substantial late increase in the MCSA of the lesion (from 2.7 to 4.1 mm2) after the angioplasty procedure. Clinical, hemodynamic, and angiographic characteristics immediately after PTCA were not predictive of MCSA of the lumen at follow-up.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
This study was undertaken to identify psychosocial and physical characteristics that independently predict anginal pain relief. The original study group comprised over 570 patients in whom the characteristics were identified at the time of coronary arteriography and who were followed up after 6 months of standard medical therapy. In the subset of 382 of these patients who were assessed as having NYHA Class III or IV angina at the time of angiography, a multivariable analysis of 101 baseline descriptors showed that higher scores on the MMPI hypochondriasis scale, unemployment, and more severe right coronary occlusion were significant independent predictors of failure to achieve two-class improvement at follow-up. These three characteristics also predicted continuing severe angina in a subsequent, independent sample of 91 new patients. These findings could help physicians select appropriate treatment by prospectively identifying patients who are unlikely to respond to standard medical treatment of angina.